CBS Sports Links Vikings to Interesting Playmaker

CBS Sports Links Vikings to Interesting Playmaker
Sep 11, 2022; Charlotte, North Carolina, USA; Cleveland Browns running back Kareem Hunt. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports.

Because the Minnesota Vikings are 5-1, they’re a part of fancy trade theories that would otherwise not exist if the team was 3-3 or so.

In 2020 and 2021, the Vikings were 1-5 and 3-3, respectively, at this juncture, disqualifying Mike Zimmer’s old team from serious conversations about adding playmakers. But Kevin O’Connell’s Vikings may be a different story, particularly with a general manager in Kwesi Adofo-Mensah who enjoys trading players and draft picks like a kid does baseball cards.

And CBS Sports is fully on board with the idea of Minnesota getting richer, plopping the franchise into its ‘one move each contender can make’ article from Thursday. Bryan DeArdo from CBS Sports recommended the Vikings swing a deal for Kareem Hunt, a running back on the Cleveland Browns roster.

Cleveland Browns running back Kareem Hunt. © Phil Masturzo/Akron Beacon Journal / USA TODAY NETWORK. Browns Hof 17

DeArdo wrote about Hunt to Minnesota, “Acquiring another running back, such as Cleveland’s Kareem Hunt, would bring versatility to the Vikings’ offense while helping keep Cook fresh for the stretch run.”

The Vikings already employ running backs Dalvin Cook, Alexander Mattison, Kene Nwangwu, and rookie Ty Chandler (when healthy).

“Hunt is a former NFL rushing champion who spent the past three-plus seasons sharing a backfield with Nick Chubb. He’s been one of the NFL’s best receiving backs since coming into the league in 2017, racking up 190 receptions and 17 touchdowns over that span,” DeArdo continued.

Jun 14, 2022; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) hands off to running back Kareem Hunt. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports.

In August, Hunt squawked to Browns management about his disgruntlement and requested a trade. Cleveland’s brass said no. Fast forward two months, and the Browns are 2-3 with a horrible defense and an embattled quarterback, Deshaun Watson, returning in seven weeks. It is unclear if Cleveland has conceded 2022 as a healthy-scratch year — it knew Watson wouldn’t play much — or if general manager Andrew Berry wants to retain all the weaponry.

Interestingly, if the Vikings had any interest at all in Hunt, Minnesota’s bossman Kwesi Adofo-Mensah last worked under Berry in Cleveland. The communications pipeline checks out.

Still, Adofo-Mensah doesn’t have oodles of draft picks to deal for Hunt — or anyone — as he’s already shipped 2023 picks from the 4th, 6th, and 7th Rounds elsewhere. Perhaps Hunt’s price would be a 5th-Rounder — it must be, according to DeArdo’s theory. Otherwise, the Vikings would have to dip in the 2024 draft class for trade capital.

In 65 career games, Hunt has tabulated 5,495 yards from scrimmage, 30 touchdowns, and 4.6 yards per carry with the Chiefs and Browns. He also carries a 2022 cap hit of $6.25 million, which the Vikings would have to find creative ways to accommodate.

While CBS Sports believes it would make sense, Hunt landing in Minnesota is a longshot. The Vikings already employ running backs galore — on a team that runs the ball the sixth-least leaguewide through six games.




Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sally from Minneapolis. His Viking fandom dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ and The Doors (the band).