Jarvis Landry showed some support for Kareem Hunt on social media after the running back made a trade request amid a contract dispute with the Cleveland Browns.
“2-7 gon be the best one yet,” Hunt captioned an Instagram post celebrating his 27th birthday. Various Browns teammates could be found in the comments wishing him well but Landry had a different kind of message.
“FREE BIG REEM,” Landry commented, a reference to his recent trade request.
The line harkens back to the Odell Beckham Jr. situation the team dealt with last season, with the “Free Odell” movement trending as the polarizing pass-catcher looked for a new home. The Browns eventually released Beckham — one of Landry’s best friends — and he signed with the Rams, going on to win the Super Bowl.
Landry had his own saga with the Browns the offseason, with the team releasing him in a cap-saving move. Landry’s camp said he was open to a reunion but the five-time Pro Bowl pass-catcher opted to sign with his hometown Saints.
Hunt Participates in Full Practice After Trade Request
Hunt requested a trade after a brief “hold-in,” sitting out the team portion of a pair of training camp practices. The Browns quickly shot it down and have no intentions of trading the former rushing leader, per Cleveland.com. As for an extension — which Hunt would prefer — it will likely have to wait until the end of the season.
Hunt appeared to get the message and fully participated in Sunday’s practice, even running additional sprints when it wrapped up.
Browns head coach Kevin Stefanski refused to get into detail on the issue but did send a clear message.
“If our players are healthy, they practice,” Stefanski said prior to Sunday’s practice.
It’s just the latest speedbump for the Browns, with their drama-filled offseason spilling into training camp. The most notable issue has been surrounding quarterback Deshaun Watson, who is still awaiting a final ruling on his suspension following an appeal of his six-game ban by the NFL. While the off-field distractions exist, Stefanski’s focus is firmly on the field.
“I would tell you respectfully, we really do focus on what we can control. I understand that there’s things that happen that certainly get attention, and that’s okay,” the third-year skipper said. “This is a great game. I know our fans love this game and follow every step along the way but for us, we really are focused on trying to get better. We’re not where we need to be and we got a lot of work to do so that’s what we’re focusing on.”
Browns Like What They Have in Running Back Room
Hunt registered 78 carries for 386 yards last season, playing in just eight games due to various injuries and time spent on the COVID-19 list. That doesn’t put him in the best position to negotiate, especially considering the depth the Browns have at the position.
Hunt is an explosive and versatile weapon when healthy but will be the second option in Cleveland behind his running-mate Nick Chubb, who has established himself as one of the best backs in the league.
The Browns also have capable backs waiting in the wings behind Hunt in D’Ernest Johnson and rookie Jerome Ford, which the team is excited about.
“Excited about that room. A ton of talent. We have veterans. We have young guys,” Stefanski said. “I think (run game coordinator/running backs coach) Stump (Mitchell) does a great job with that crew, as you know. They are working really hard, and they are going to continue to do that.”
With Hunt back at practice, it appears the drama has subsided for the time being. However, we’ll see how the situation unfolds as the season progresses.
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