Lions GM Bob Quinn Wasn't Comfortable Signing Kareem Hunt: "I Want Good People"

The Browns picked up Hunt on Monday.

Will Burchfield
February 11, 2019 - 9:16 pm

© Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports


Of the several questions posed by fans to Bob Quinn, Matt Patricia and Rod Wood at the Lions season ticket member summit Monday night at Ford Field, a handful drew cheers from the audience. Such as this one, from a female fan, about halfway through an hour-plus Q-and-A session:

"I would really like to hear what Mr. Quinn and Coach Patricia have to say about this. Obviously today we learned that the Browns signed Kareem Hunt. The deal seems pretty good. I’m not naïve to think that there’s only good players and good guys that play in the NFL considering what he did. And it also seems that in the NFL, if the guy’s a playmaker, if he’s really good, he gets a second chance. It appears that Cleveland has done that, and they’re just as hungry for winning as we are.

"Did you consider signing him, and if not, why?" 

Cue mild applause. Before the fans had finished clapping, Quinn piped up. 

"Yep, I'll take that," he said. "We consider everybody that’s available. Obviously when that player was released toward the end of the season, every team in the league had the opportunity to claim him, number one, and it would actually (have been) on a cheaper contract than he signed today.

"We evaluate every player on the field and off the field, and in this case, we talked about it internally and it was just a player that we didn’t feel comfortable bringing to the Lions for numerous issues. And I stand by that. That’s my word. I want good players and I want good people in this organization."

The Browns signed Hunt to a one-year deal in the $1 million range, according to Ian Rapoport. Hunt, a Pro-Bowler in 2017 when he led the league in rushing, was released by the Chiefs in November shortly after video surfaced in which he was shown pushing and kicking a woman during an incident the prior offseason. 

The 23-year-old is currently on the commissioner's exempt list with a suspension looming. As much as he can help any team, so will his presence bring a whirlwind of criticism. 

Lions owner Martha Ford has abided by a zero-tolerance policy on issues involving domestic violence in the past -- though Hunt's situation doesn't technically fall in that category. 

Browns general manager John Dorsey, for his part, said Hunt deserves a second chance in a statement released by the team shortly after the signing was announced.