Browns running back Kareem Hunt sounded scared to lose his NFL career during a 45-minute traffic stop Jan. 21 in Rocky River.
Hunt was stopped for speeding and given a ticket, and a police officer found small amounts of marijuana in his backpack in the backseat. The marijuana was confiscated and Hunt wasn’t cited, but he admitted to the officer he would’ve failed a drug test.
“Yes, sir. It’s offseason, sorry, I was having a good time,” Hunt said while in the back of the police cruiser on I-90 west near Hilliard Boulevard (37:40 on the video).
The conversation between Hunt and an officer was captured on a 46-minute dash cam video released Monday to The Chronicle-Telegram and other media outlets.
Hunt was suspended for the first eight games of 2019 by the NFL after two off-field altercations, including one in which he kicked and shoved a woman.
“Officer, I’ve been through a lot,” he said (7:00). “I lost everything already, sir. I’m just trying to be in my hometown.”
Hunt was born in Elyria before moving to the east side and attending Willoughby South High School. He signed with the Browns on Feb. 11 after the Chiefs cut him Nov. 30, 2018, when the video of the altercation with the woman was released.
Lt. George Lichman, Rocky River’s public information officer, told The Chronicle on Friday police could still seek a drug charge but it’s highly unlikely. The officer mentioned the possibility during the stop.
“Then it’s all over,” said Hunt, who’s scheduled to become a restricted free agent in March.
He was worried that him having marijuana would become public.
“You know me, my name’s been tarnished,” he told the officer. “I’m just the worst person in the world sometimes, I guess, and I don’t even do nothing. Try to help everybody, man.”
Hunt, 24, said he’s never failed a drug test during his three years in the NFL. He told the officer he gets tested “like once a year” and stops using in time.
The officer asked what would happen if he wrote Hunt a ticket for the marijuana in the car.
“I would be tested right away,” Hunt said.
He initially said the marijuana was his brother’s before amending the story.
“It’s not just mine. That’s not all mine,” he said (25:45). “I’ll take the blame for having it. It’s no excuse.”
A Browns spokesman said Friday the team is aware of the incident and gathering more information and had nothing to add Monday. An NFL spokesman declined comment Friday and didn’t immediately respond to a follow-up email Monday.
The officer identified himself as “one of the hugest Browns fans ever” and lectured Hunt on taking advantage of his second chance in the NFL.
“I should be playing for a freaking Super Bowl. It hurts my soul,” Hunt said, referring to the Chiefs, who will play the 49ers on Sunday. “I’ve been fighting a lot of sh– lately. It still hurts me to this day.
“I love Cleveland, love the Browns, but you don’t understand. Love the Browns.”
The officer said the incident showed Hunt wasn’t learning from his mistakes and he’s got to make better choices.
“I hate to say this, you, of anybody, should know if you’re trying to stay good, stay on the right path, all that stuff, this is not the way to go, man,” he said (21:00).
“It’s not. I’m sorry,” Hunt said. “I’m definitely learning from all this. And I hate making mistakes. I’m not a bad person, Officer.”
The officer also found an open container of vodka in the backpack but didn’t issue a ticket. He said he could tell Hunt wasn’t impaired but noted he smelled of alcohol from the night before.
Hunt was stopped at 12:24 p.m.
His court date is Feb. 5 but he can pay the $203 fine to avoid an appearance.