The NFL is considering three separate off-field incidents as it works toward a final decision on discipline for former Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt, sources close to the situation told ESPN, and the result is likely to be a multi-game suspension that stretches into next season.
TMZ’s publishing Friday of a video of Hunt shoving and kicking a woman in a hotel hallway in February led to the league putting Hunt on the commissioner’s exempt list and the Chiefs releasing the 2017 NFL rushing leader.
The two other incidents involving Hunt are a restaurant altercation from June about which the league already questioned him and a violent incident at a nightclub in January about which the NFL didn’t know until recently. TMZ reported the January incident Monday.
The sources who spoke to ESPN on this matter didn’t know when the league would reach a decision on Hunt’s eventual suspension, but said all three incidents would be part of the evaluation.
The NFL uses the commissioner’s exempt list as a means of keeping a player off the field while it investigates off-field behavior and comes to a decision on a suspension.
Sources say the June incident did not turn violent and that Hunt was “fully cooperative” when NFL officials questioned him about it earlier this season. At that interview, the sources said, the league did not question Hunt about the February hotel incident depicted in last weeks’ video.
The sources say the January incident at the nightclub did get violent and involved Hunt throwing a punch.
Taken together, the multiple incidents are likely to constitute the types of aggravating factors that can lead the league to impose a suspension longer than the six-game baseline specified in the personal conduct policy for incidents involving violent behavior.
Hunt was placed on the commissioner’s exempt list with five games remaining in this season, so any suspension of six games or longer would stretch into next season, even if the league credited him with time served for games missed this season.
Hunt passed through waivers unclaimed Monday, which means he is a free agent and can sign with any team at any time, though being on the commissioner’s exempt list prohibits him from attending practices or games.