Month: November 2019

Chiefs Release Kareem Hunt

Less than an hour after learning the NFL placed Kareem Hunt on the Commissioner Exempt list, the Chiefs announced the release of the second-year back, The Kansas City Star’s Brooke Pryor tweets

The Chiefs released a statement with the announcement of the news:

Earlier this year, we were made aware of an incident involving running back Kareem Hunt. At that time, the National Football League and law enforcement initiated investigations into the issue. As part of our internal discussions with Kareem, several members of our management team spoke directly to him. Kareem was not truthful in those discussions. The video released today confirms that fact. We are releasing Kareem immediately.”

The move comes on the heels of a video released on Friday by TMZ that showed the Pro Bowl running back pushing a woman to the ground and kicking her while on the floor in an incident at a Cleveland hotel this past February. The woman claimed she was removed from Hunt’s apartment in the hotel for refusing to have intercourse with one of the player’s friends. She responded by striking Hunt, who broke free of his friends attempting to hold him back, knocked one of his buddies into the woman and then kicked her while she was on the ground.

When police came to the hotel, Hunt and the accuser had different accounts of what happened. While she says that she was kicked out of Hunt’s room for refusing to sleep with one of his buddies, Hunt claims that she was asked to leave and retaliated with a racial slur. No charges were filed from the incident but two police reports were created, one listing Hunt as the suspect and another listing the woman as a suspect, according to Pryor.

Regardless of which account is correct, the Chiefs made it clear that the version of the story Hunt told them was not backed up by the video. While the NFL conducted an investigation into the matter, it was reportedly denied the security footage by both the hotel and the Cleveland Police Department.

Hunt responded in a statement:

I want to apologize for my actions. I deeply regret what I did. I hope to move on from this.”

The Chiefs wasted little time in removing the NFL’s sixth-leading rusher from their team once the video came to light. The team will now turn to Spencer Ware as it looks to wrap up a playoff spot in the coming weeks.

 

 

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NFL Places Kareem Hunt On Commissioner Exempt List

As expected, the NFL announced Friday night that it was placing Chiefs starting running back Kareem Hunt on the Commissioner Exempt list, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network tweets

Hunt will not count against the Chiefs’ 53-man roster but will be paid. He cannot practice, play in or attend games with the team while on this list.

This outcome was a foregone conclusion after a video surfaced Friday of the second-year back pushing a 19-year-old woman and kicking her while she was on the floor in an incident at a Cleveland hotel this past February.

Hunt will stay on the list as the NFL investigates the recently surfaced video and decides on the repercussions. He will miss the week’s game against the Raiders and could miss the remainder of the season and playoffs, depending on the length of the investigation, which will include a review of the information that became public on Friday, Rapoport tweets.

According to Rapoport (Twitter link), neither the NFL, nor the Chiefs, had seen the video until today. The league reportedly made several attempts to acquire the footage but was denied by the hotel, which said corporate policy would only allow it to release the video to law enforcement. The Cleveland Police Department would then not provide it to the league.

The NFL’s statement was a brief one:

The NFL has placed Kareem Hunt of the Kansas City Chiefs on the Commissioner Exempt list, and as a result, he may not practice, play or attend games. The NFL’s investigation, which began immediately following the incident in February, will include a review of the new information that was made public today.

Earlier this week, former 49ers linebacker and recent Redskins signing Reuben Foster was placed on the exempt list after he was arrested for alleged domestic violence, his third arrest in 2018, late last week. Other notable names to be placed on the list include Adrian Peterson in 2014 following child-abuse allegations and Greg Hardy for domestic violence. Peterson missed the rest of the season before returning to the field in 2015 and Hardy’s career was essentially ended.

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Seahawks’ C.J. Prosise Could Be IR Candidate

Third-year running back C.J. Prosise could end up on injured reserve if the Seahawks need a roster spot, The Seattle Times’ Bob Condotta tweets

That “if” is more likely a “when,” as linebacker Mychal Kendricks is expected to return to the team next week following his suspension.

A third-year back, Prosise suffered an abdomen injury in practice this week.

After a promising rookie campaign in 2016, Prosise has struggled to stay healthy and find consistent playing time. So far in 2018, the Notre Dame product has played just 30 snaps and has -3 rushing yards on one carry. That is a far cry from his first year, when he averaged 5.7 yards per carry and 12.2 yards per reception in six games with Seattle.

Though he has not shown it on the field, Prosise’s potential is still alluring to the Seahawks, who have the back signed through 2019. Due to his low cost and Mike Davis hitting free agency at season’s end, it makes sense to place the pass-catching back on IR and see what happens next season.

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Bucs’ Winston, Uber Driver Reach Settlement

Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston has reached a settlement with an Uber driver who accused him of groping her in 2016, the Tampa Bay Times’ Matt Baker writes.

A sexual battery lawsuit was filed against Winston after the woman alleged the fourth-year quarterback grabbed her crotch in the drive-thru of a Mexican restaurant in Scottsdale, Ariz. She made the incident known last fall, leading to an NFL investigation which deemed her claim as “consistent and credible.” The incident led to a three-game suspension in 2018 for violating the NFL’s personal-conduct policy. The woman, identified as Kate P., filed the civil suit in September seeking $75,000 in damages.

Though he denied the allegations and disagreed with the suspension, Winston released a statement in June on the incident:

“Although I am disappointed in the NFL’s decision, I understand the NFL’s process, and I embrace this as an opportunity to take advantage of the resources available to help me achieve the goals that I have for myself.”

Since returning from the suspension, Winston reassumed his role as the Buccaneers’ starting quarterback and has thrown for 1,692 yards and 10 touchdowns in six games.

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Chiefs Send Kareem Hunt Home From Team Facility

The Chiefs sent Kareem Hunt home from the team facility on Friday after disturbing new footage of his February brawl emerged, Dan Graziano of ESPN.com tweets. From here, Graziano believes that Hunt will be placed on the commissioner’s exempt list pending a final decision, though determination hasn’t been made just yet. 

Hunt got into an ugly brawl in a Cleveland hotel last year, but the full details of the event were not made public until Friday afternoon. The leaked security footage shows Hunt in a screaming match with a 19-year-old girl and kicking her while she is down on the floor.

The commissioner’s exempt list would effectively serve as a paid suspension for Hunt. Since Hunt was not arrested or suspended in the wake of the incident, the NFL will likely park the running back on the sidelines while they conduct a more thorough investigation. Of course, many are wondering why the NFL did not obtain the video footage sooner, particularly after the Ray Rice incident of 2014.

Rice was initially suspended two games when he was indicted on aggravated assault charges in 2014. The league, however, did not see the full video, which was later released showing the Ravens running back hitting his now wife in the face in an elevator. After receiving national attention, the NFL moved to indefinitely suspend the back and revised its policy toward domestic violence.

The NFL’s leading rusher as a rookie in 2017, Hunt currently ranks third in the league in offensive touchdowns with 14. While an investigation is underway, the AFC West division leaders will likely rely heavily on veteran Spencer Ware.

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Raiders Place Leon Hall On IR

The Raiders placed cornerback Leon Hall on injured reserve with a back injury. Hall missed the club’s Week 12 game and the ailment is serious enough to rule him out for the rest of the year. 

Hall, 34 in December, was one of several veteran players to join Jon Gruden’s Raiders in the offseason. Hall is no longer the player that he was during his Bengals heyday, but he did serve as a positive force in the locker room and a mentor to rookie nickelback Nick Nelson.

Hall’s season ends after ten games, four of which he started. He recorded 25 total tackles with three passes defensed and one quarterback hit. It remains to be seen whether he’ll try to play again in 2019.

In a corresponding move, the club signed cornerback Montrel Meander off of the Browns’ practice squad. Meander spent the preseason with the Browns and appeared as a safety in their exhibition games. As noted by Pro Football Focus (on Twitter), he was targeted seven times in 48 coverage snaps and allowed one catch for 12 yards with one pass breakup.

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Rams Activate Aqib Talib From IR

The Rams officially activated cornerback Aqib Talib from injured reserve. Talib, who was designated for return earlier this week, is likely on course to play this Sunday against the Lions.

Talib’s return is huge for a Rams defense that has struggled in recent weeks. Talib’s surgically repaired ankle is good to go, and he’ll help a unit that has allowed at least 27 points in the past four games. In Talib’s three games with the team, the Rams allowed 0, 13 and 23 points, though two of those contests were against the Raiders and Cardinals.

Before the injury, Talib had a reputation for durability. From 2012-2017, he never missed more than three games in a season.

The 10-1 Rams have pretty much clinched the NFC West. If they beat the Lions, they’ll take another step towards securing a first-round bye.

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Latest On Chiefs, Kareem Hunt

In February, Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt was involved in a skirmish with a 19-year-old woman. On Friday, disturbing video evidence of the incident was released by TMZ

Security footage from a Cleveland hotel shows Hunt arguing and shoving the woman, who claims that she was ejected from Hunt’s room after refusing to have intercourse with one of the running back’s friends. The woman responded by striking Hunt and friends moved quickly to hold him back. Hunt broke free, accidentally knocked one of his mates into the woman, and sent them both flying into a wall. The woman appeared dazed by the impact, and Hunt kicked her while she was on the ground.

When police came to the hotel, Hunt and the accuser had different accounts of what happened. While she says that she was kicked out of Hunt’s room for refusing to sleep with one of his buddies, Hunt claims that she was asked to leave and retaliated with a racial slur.

No arrests were made at the time, but the shocking footage is likely to result in some serious consequences for Hunt. The Chiefs have only just learned about the video, but it’s hard to imagine Hunt being allowed to suit up for Sunday’s game against the Raiders. Beyond that, Hunt’s status for the remainder of the season may be in jeopardy.

The Chiefs were aware of the incident, but apparently only saw the footage on Friday when it was made public. During training camp, CEO Clark Hunt addressed the matter and clearly did not have all of the details.

The team is made up of a bunch of young men,” Hunt said. “They’re not always going to make the best decisions, but we have a strong support system both with the coaching staff and with our player development department that works with young guys and talks to them about the situations that they want to be in. Kareem is a young man, second year in the league, obviously had a very big year on the field last year. I’m sure he learned some lessons this offseason and hopefully won’t be in those kinds of situations in the future.”

Hunt, 23, led the league with 1,327 rushing yards last year while adding eight scores on the ground and three through the air. He also caught 53 passes for 455 yards, positioning him as one of the best running backs in the NFL. This year, Hunt is averaging a solid 4.6 yards per carry with 14 touchdowns in total.

The Chiefs lead the AFC with a 9-2 record and can clinch a playoff berth with a win this weekend. The Chargers aren’t far behind at 8-4, but the Chiefs can effectively clinch the division if they beat the Raiders and the Bolts lose to the Steelers.

If Hunt is suspended, the Chiefs will likely turn to Spencer Ware as their primary tailback. Damien Williams and Darrel Williams are also on the roster to serve as backups.

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Iowa TE Noah Fant To Enter NFL Draft

Noah Fant will forgo his final year at Iowa in order to enter the 2019 NFL Draft. Fant is widely viewed as one of the top tight ends in this year’s class and may even be a Top 10 selection. 

Since the very first time I put on a pair of football pads as a child, it has been by dream to play in the NFL,” Fant wrote. “I am very excited for what the future holds and extremely humbled by the amazing opportunity in front of me.”

Fant, understandably, will not risk injury by playing in Iowa’s bowl game this year. His final season on campus ends with a First Team All-Big Ten Conference selection, 518 receiving yards, and a team-high seven touchdowns. All in all, he leaves Iowa with 78 career catches for 1,083 yards and 19 TDs.

At 6’5″, Fant has ideal size for the tight end position and will likely be the first TE to come off of the board. That’s a strong endorsement of his skills considering that this year’s crop at the position is considered to be rather solid. It’s certainly a better group than the 2018 lot as Hayden Hurst was the only tight end selected in the first round.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.