With most of the major free agents signed and the 2023 NFL Draft in the rear-view mirror, most of the major offseason acquisitions have already been made. However, there are still a few notable free agents out there on the market, and Pro Football Focus believes that the Baltimore Ravens could make a run at former rushing leader Kareem Hunt.
PFF: Baltimore Ravens Could Sign Kareem Hunt
Pro Football Focus Explains Their Reasoning
From the sounds of it, Pro Football Focus doesn’t believe that Kareem Hunt should replace J.K. Dobbins, as the article notes that the former second-round pick “looked explosive upon returning full-time from injury in Week 14, leading the league over the final month of the season at seven yards per carry with 13 explosive rushes.”
The article even shows some trust in current backup Gus Edwards, who “was also his usual bruising self once healthy, with his 3.6 yards after contact per attempt the sixth-best mark among running backs with at least 50 rushing attempts.”
So, if the Ravens have two good running backs, then why would they sign Kareem Hunt? Well, according to PFF, the main reason is that both backs are heading into the final year of their current deals, and the injury history associated with both players is worrisome. There is a decent case to be made that Baltimore needs three reliable running backs, and Kareem Hunt is probably the best free agent running back left on the market.
Does This Pairing Make Sense?
It’s impossible to know just how much of a market exists for Kareem Hunt, but considering that he’s still a free agent, it’s safe to assume it wouldn’t take much of a financial commitment to make him a Raven. However, situation still matters, and after spending the past couple of seasons behind superstar running back Nick Chubb, Hunt will want to prove that he’s still capable of handling a full workload.
Quite frankly, that opportunity will not exist for him with the Ravens. As stated above, Dobbins has looked great when on the field, and Hunt would have a hard time usurping Edwards for the backup job. The former rushing leader will not want to be a third-string running back, even if the two backs ahead of him have a decent track record of injury.
Additionally, it’s hard to imagine that Hunt would sign a multi-year deal with Baltimore. The loaded running back class in both free agency and the NFL Draft likely hurt Hunt’s market, and he’s probably hoping to find a better deal at this time next year. So, even though Baltimore’s top two running backs are set to hit free agency, it’s hard to imagine a world where Hunt could provide any additional security.
Ultimately, the Ravens could use a third running back, and Kareem Hunt could use a new home. However, he’s probably better off in a place like Arizona that lacks a reliable RB2. If Baltimore really wants a cheap experienced veteran, then they should think about reuniting with old friend Mark Ingram or somebody like Rex Burkhead.
Main Photo: Ken Blaze – USA Today Sports