Buffalo Bills: No need to entertain thought of claiming Kareem Hunt

ORCHARD PARK, NY - AUGUST 28: A helmet for the Buffalo Bills sits on the sidelines during the second half of a preseason game against the Detroit Lions at Ralph Wilson Stadium on August 28, 2014 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Michael Adamucci/Getty Images)
ORCHARD PARK, NY - AUGUST 28: A helmet for the Buffalo Bills sits on the sidelines during the second half of a preseason game against the Detroit Lions at Ralph Wilson Stadium on August 28, 2014 in Orchard Park, New York. (Photo by Michael Adamucci/Getty Images) /

The Buffalo Bills should not even consider claiming former Kansas City Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt when he goes on waivers next week.

The biggest story out of the NFL on Friday night was that the AFC-leading Kansas City Chiefs released running back Kareem Hunt. Hunt was arguably their best offensive player, and for fantasy players he was a top fantasy player in every format.

Hunt, 23, was released by the Chiefs following the release of a TMZ video that showed him kicking a female on the floor of a hotel. The incident occurred back in February, and was investigated by the NFL and authorities.

The video is bad, but what doubled down against Hunt was when asked about the incident by the team, he lied. The lack of trust between the Chiefs and Hunt is what most likely tipped the scales in his release.

The release by the Chiefs is a big ethical move that doesn’t always happen in the NFL. The Chiefs have plenty of reasons to keep Hunt. They are in the race for a Super Bowl, he’s young, talented, and no charges were filed. Yet, they took a moral high ground approach and released him.

The NFL placed him on the Commissioner’s Exempt List, meaning he is ineligible to play until removed (most likely after more investigation) so he may not play again this season.

Hunt’s abilities as one of the top running backs in the league will land him another NFL job. In his rookie season, Hunt was the leading rusher in the NFL. Thus far this year, he has 824 rushing yards, seven rushing touchdowns and 7 receiving touchdowns.

So the question is, who will take a shot on the uber talented Hunt? Will it be the Buffalo Bills?

The Bills will have the conversation about claiming Hunt. Here’s why they could consider signing him.

LeSean McCoy is aging, has one year left on his contract, and seems uncomfortable in the current Bills offense. Adding Hunt, who wouldn’t help the team until next year, would solidify the RB position for the team, and give Josh Allen a significant weapon to grow with. Hunt’s ability in the run and passing games make him a duel threat that can assist the offense.

The Bills lack explosive playmakers on offense. McCoy and Allen are basically it. Hunt is a long-term answer at a skill position, and he fits with the new age NFL.

Don’t underestimate the relationship between Chiefs coach Andy Reid and Bills coach Sean McDermott either. If Reid believes Hunt that this was a one-time incident, or that he is a good person that did a bad thing and deserves a second chance, McDermott would take that recommendation to heart. Reid’s recommendation or non-recommendation may be the deciding factor on the Bills placing a waiver claim.

Lastly, the Bills have been able to assume media backlash on questionable public figures. The Bills took on Terrell Owens and Richie Incognito. Did any of them do any actions as despicable as Hunt’s? No. Yet, they did bring additional media attention to the Bills who handled it extremely well.

This isn’t just a decision for the front office, the front office has to determine how the community and fans in Buffalo would accept Hunt. The fans have proven to be willing to give chances thus far.

Now the reasons to not claim Hunt. He did a despicable act. For a team that is building “culture” and undergoing a “process”, adding this type of person doesn’t fit with the rest of the personalities added to the locker room.

The Bills have Shady McCoy. I know, I know, I just said McCoy was a reason TO claim Hunt. Yet, he’s also the reason not to, because McCoy is a captain, hasn’t dropped off a bit athletically, and is under a team-friendly contract for another season.

McCoy had his own baggage this offseason, and the Bills stood behind him, trusted him, and that has paid off. Hunt lied to his team in a similar scandal, and was cut. How does that look to the rest of the locker room if the Bills did that, and then traded/cut McCoy in offseason?

The conclusion. Don’t claim Hunt. The talent is extremely tough to pass on when he crosses the waiver wire, but don’t do it. The reason is relatively simple, and it’s your favorite saying, “The Process”.

The Bills are building a strong locker room, strong work ethic, and strong culture. Yet, the key is “building”, they aren’t ready this year, or even next to declare ready for a Super Bowl run. Adding Hunt creates too much disruption to the current building process. In addition, if he does perform well, an expensive price tag to re-sign him when hopefully he is a free agent and you are in a Super Bowl window.

In the next offseason there is the potential to lose both Kyle Williams and Lorenzo Alexander. Losing two elite culture guys and community leaders, while adding in Hunt next year, just doesn’t make the math work.

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What I want from Bills fans is to be OK if the Bills let Hunt move pass them. If anybody in the division signs Hunt, I know it will hurt when you have to face him twice a year, but let them deal with it. The Bills have a process, and while its cliché, just stick to the plan. It’s working, don’t go off script.