Free-agent running back Kareem Hunt remains a free agent primarily because no one has made him an offer he won’t refuse. Before the Browns would consider doing that, however, they needed to see what he could do.
Reported widely as a visit by Hunt to the Browns on Tuesday, the official Personnel Notice from the NFL shows that Hunt actually had a tryout with the Browns.
It’s a distinction that should not be glossed over. A visit implies that the team doesn’t need to see what the player can currently do. A tryout entails putting him through the paces to observe his skills and abilities, in some tangible way.
In contrast, the Colts had a Tuesday visit with running back Trey Sermon; he was not put through an actual workout.
Hunt, who spent four seasons in Cleveland, is the only player the Browns brought in on Tuesday, the day after a Monday night loss to the Steelers that was compounded by the season-ending knee injury suffered by running back Nick Chubb. He was not signed, yet.
There could be more players who work out or visit today, in theory. Leonard Fournette is available, as is James Robinson. The Browns also could try to trade for Rams running back Cam Akers.
The all-in move would entail a potential trade for Colts running back Jonathan Taylor. As noted yesterday, however, giving significant trade assets and paying Taylor significant money would cut against the analytics-fueled approach to roster construction to which the Browns have fully committed.