Recently released Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt will learn his immediate fate on Monday at 4 p.m. ET when the waiver wire comes out. Hunt might not learn until the offseason when he’ll be allowed to step on a field for an NFL team again.
That wait is expected to end with a lengthy suspension.
According to sources with direct knowledge of the situation, Hunt faces more than the baseline six-game suspension for violation of the NFL’s personal conduct policy. The league also has been investigating an incident involving Hunt allegedly punching a man in the face at an Ohio resort in June. The NFL is believed to have found enough from that incident to add to Hunt’s discipline.
Since penalties for two incidents aren’t likely to be served independently of each other — and because the clock on a suspension doesn’t begin when a player is on the Reserve/Commissioner Exempt List — Hunt could sit out not only the rest of the 2018 season, but well into the 2019 season.
That’s assuming a team signs him to play, which is not a given.
This all played out Friday when TMZ published a surveillance video from a Cleveland hotel showing Hunt shoving and kicking a woman. The Chiefs released him after stating he lied to them by greatly minimizing the incident. He later apologized in a statement: “I deeply regret what I did. I hope to move on from this.”
The NFL, which never closed its investigation into Hunt, hopes to move quickly. It likely will make another attempt to reach the victims — there were multiple attempts previously by email and phone to no avail — and Hunt also will be interviewed.
One complication could be if Cleveland Police Dept. begins investigating again; that could prolong the NFL’s investigation and disciplinary action. While the video was made public Friday, the outcry was about more than just Hunt’s actions. Neither the NFL, nor the Chiefs, had seen the video before it was released.
A league source said the NFL asked the hotel for it twice and was told the hotel would only release it to law enforcement. There was a public records request in June that included the body cam footage and 911 calls, but not the tape.
The league also asked Cleveland police for it and were told they didn’t have it.
According to sergeant and public information officer Jennifer Ciaccia of the Cleveland Police Department, she doesn’t believe anyone with the department saw the video, either. Officers filed two police reports, but the video was not part of the investigation file.
It was a misdemeanor case, she said, and detectives don’t follow up as they do with felonies. In other words, detectives didn’t go back for the video. They referred victims to the city prosecutor to file charges.
The victims have not yet filed charges. The statute of limitations does allow victims to still file charges in the wake of the videos, but Monday is the earliest that can happen, Ciaccia said.
Follow Ian Rapoport on Twitter @RapSheet.