The 2022 season did not go as well as Kareem Hunt envisioned it would. Playing on an expiring contract, he requested a trade from the Cleveland Browns hoping to land with a team that would find him more playing time. In Cleveland, he was operating as second fiddle to Nick Chubb, who was one of the leading rushers in the league.
The trade request was not fulfilled and Kareem Hunt remained with the Browns for the entire season. On top of that frustration, his production in 2022 was nowhere near the level that we have seen in recent seasons.
Kareem Hunt averaged a career-low 3.8 yards per carry, rushing the ball 123 times for 468 yards and three touchdowns as Chubb’s backup. He wasn’t nearly as impactful in the passing game as in years past either, having 35 receptions for only 210 yards and one more score.
That was certainly far from an ideal way to enter free agency for Kareem Hunt, especially considering how many good running backs will be free agents this offseason. Saquon Barkley, Josh Jacobs, David Montgomery, Miles Sanders, Tony Pollard, Jeff Wilson, Raheem Mostert and Jamaal Williams are just some of the names available, not to mention the rookies that will be coming in.
While Kareem Hunt would love to land a starting job, securing a guaranteed contract for a good amount of money could be hard to come by. One team that would make sense for him in free agency to bolster his stock is the Denver Broncos.
Denver’s backfield was a mess in 2022 after Javonte Williams suffered a season-ending injury. Melvin Gordon was eventually released because of effectiveness and fumbles while third-stringer Mike Boone also battled injuries. Veteran journeyman Latavius Murray ended up being the lead back at the end of the season.
From that standpoint, there is certainly a need for a running back in Denver as Williams may not be ready for the start of the 2023 season. Kareem Hunt would be able to start games until he is healthy, giving him a chance to showcase that he still has what it takes to be a lead back in the league.
With head coach Nathaniel Hackett fired after one season on the job, the Broncos are going to look vastly different in 2023 than they did in 2022. Adding more depth and talent to the backfield should be near the top of their to-do list, making Kareem Hunt a viable target in free agency.