The Browns are signing free agent running back Kareem Hunt, which will doubtless be worrying to those who are holding or in position to add Jerome Ford. But maybe there's a positive, in that it will allow people to add Ford a little cheaper.
I don't think Hunt is going to come in and move ahead of the incumbent. He's an insurance policy for if Ford, too, should get hurt. It's been a while since Hunt has been a significant player (it's not a coincidence that he hasn't had a free agent market of any kind since the end of last season).
Hunt averaged 3.8 yards per attempt for the Browns last season, worst of his career. Nick Chubb averaged 5.0 yards per attempt behind that same line. And all of Hunt's good games and touchdowns came early in the season, with a fairly steady decline as the year wore on. He was up over 4.0 yards per attempt four times in the first five games, but just three in the final 12. Here's the game log.
|KAREEM HUNT IN 2022|
Ford, of course, is relatively unproven. He's a fifth-round pick who got only 8 carries as a rookie. He carried 15 times for just 36 yards in Week 1 against Cincinnati. But he was better at Pittsburgh, going for 106 yards on 16 carries, with the 69-yard breakaway run and also catching 3 passes and a touchdown.
We'll see, but I think it's Ford's job if he stays healthy. Tough row to hoe this week, facing the Titans' top run defense, but the schedule will get better.
For those with waivers tonight, I'd prioritize Ford. I'll take Hunt as a fallback, but I wouldn't be spending much, and I think he's an insurance policy rather than a key player in this backfield.