Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Buccaneers reportedly willing to roll the dice on Kareem Hunt

Kareem Hunt is being investigated by the NFL over an alleged assault in February but that hasn’t stopped the Buccaneers from showing interest in signing him.

Kareem Hunt currently sits on the commissioner’s exempt list while the league investigates an alleged assault committed by Hunt in February 2018. In the video released by TMZ Sports in November, Hunt can be seen shoving, rushing, and kicking a woman in a Cleveland hotel. Following the video’s release, Hunt’s contract with the Kansas City Chiefs was terminated and the running back entered counseling.

The NFL has yet to announce their suspension, but according to Ian Rapoport, Hunt is likely facing a six-10 game suspension. But that hasn’t stopped teams from expressing an interest in the Pro Bowl running back.

The latest team to have a rumored interest in Hunt is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The only running back on their roster not entering free agency is Ronald Jones, who had a disappointing rookie season. And the ownership has a history of standing by controversial players, including Jameis Winston, who served a three-game suspension at the beginning of this season after inappropriately touching a female Uber driver in 2016.

“I would expect teams like the Bucs with big-time running back needs and the propensity to make a splash in free agency to be linked to him,” Rapoport said. “These decisions to bring a guy like Kareem Hunt in are made by the owner. That’s where it comes down to it, do the Glazers say: ‘We are okay having this guy in the building, given what he has basically been proven to have done.’”

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell also commented on Hunt while speaking to the media this week.

“Kareem Hunt, I think everyone knows that he is, the issue is under investigation, has been,” Goodell said. “He is a free agent. If he is signed by a club, the clubs understand he’ll go on the Commissioner’s Exempt List at that point in time until the discipline process has been concluded whether there is discipline or not discipline we will finish the investigation and then make a determination. So that hopefully will happen soon, but we haven’t concluded the investigation and we’re working to do that. There has been a tremendous amount of progress though in that investigation over the last I’d say 30 to 60 days.”

Other teams to express interest in Hunt include the Chicago Bears. Head coach Matt Nagy said that he had “a good conversation” with Hunt and that it was “a tough situation.” Nagy worked with Hunt when he was the offensive coordinator at Kansas City.

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