The Cleveland Browns have signed Kareem Hunt, despite the running back still being subject to an NFL investigation.
Hunt, the NFL's leading rusher as a rookie in 2017, was released by the Kansas City Chiefs in November after the emergence of a video appearing to show him in a violent altercation with a woman.
The footage is believed to relate to an alleged incident in February 2017 involving a woman at The Metropolitan at the 9, Hunt's hotel apartment in downtown Cleveland.
Browns general manager John Dorsey – who drafted Hunt in Kansas City – said in a statement: "We fully understand and respect the complexity of questions and issues in signing a player with Kareem's history and do not condone his actions.
"Given what we know about Kareem through our extensive research, we believe he deserves a second chance but certainly with the understanding that he has to go through critical and essential steps to become a performing member of this organisation, aside from what the NFL determines from their ongoing investigation.
"We fully understand that Kareem is subject to discipline by the NFL. Here at the Browns, there is a detailed plan with expectations laid out that he understands and must follow, because any similar incident will not be tolerated.
"We will support Kareem through this process and utilise our resources, however permitted, to help him become successful on and off the field as long as he continues to show the commitment necessary to represent this organisation."
Statement from RB Kareem Hunt: pic.twitter.com/JPRFnkRdCy— Cleveland Browns (@Browns) February 11, 2019
In a statement via the Browns, Hunt said: "First off, I would like to once again apologise for my actions last year. What I did was wrong and inexcusable. That is not the man I was raised to be, and I've learned a great deal from that experience and certainly should have been more truthful about it after the fact.
"I'm extremely grateful that John Dorsey, [owners] Dee and Jimmy Haslam and the Cleveland Browns organisation are granting me the opportunity to earn their trust and represent their organisation in the best way possible on and off the field.
"I am committed to following the necessary steps to learn and to be a better and healthier person from this situation. I also understand the expectations that the Browns have clearly laid out and that I have to earn my way back to the NFL.
"I'm a work in progress as a person, but I'm committed to taking advantage of the support systems that I have in place to become the best and healthier version of myself."
Hunt, who has reportedly signed a one-year deal, appeared in 11 games for the Chiefs last season and had 824 rushing yards, 378 receiving yards and 14 total touchdowns before his release.
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