Kareem Hunt at Browns' OTAs in May. May 25, 2022; Berea, OH, USA; Cleveland Browns running back Kareem Hunt (27) walks off the field during organized team activities at CrossCountry Mortgage Campus. Mandatory Credit: Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

Kareem Hunt is betting on himself big time in Cleveland. After it was announced over the weekend that the All-Pro running back is “holding in” by not participating in team drills during training camp, a new report surfaced that he demanded the team either pay him or trade him.

Well, it seems like Hunt will not be going anywhere, at least this season. According to a report from Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot, the Browns have privately denied his request for a trade.

With Hunt set to be a free agent after the 2022 season, he doesn’t necessarily have a lot of leverage over the team. The Browns can fine him if he continues to hold out from participating in team drills.

Hunt, who turned 27 on Saturday, is slated to earn a base salary of $1.35 million in 2022 with a $1.5 million roster bonus. He also has a per-game roster bonus of $200,000 each, which could bring the total amount he earns this season to $3.4 million.

This move from Hunt couldn’t come at a worse time for the franchise. They’ve already allocated their financial and draft resources away. And they have to deal with quarterback Deshaun Watson potentially being suspended for the entire season following the NFL’s appeal of his six-game suspension.

Hunt (seen above at Browns’ OTAs in May) and backfield running mate Nick Chubb are expected to be a vital part of the Browns of the offense in Watson’s absence. But that’s only true for Hunt if he ends this “hold in.”

In 2021, Hunt recorded 560 yards from scrimmage — 386 rushing, 174 receiving — and five total touchdowns in eight games.

[Cleveland.com; photo from Ken Blaze/USA Today Sports]

About Jasper Jones

A native east coaster via Connecticut, Jasper is a writer for The Comeback and Audacy Sports. He decided to head south for college, attending the University of Kentucky and graduating with a degree in broadcast journalism. Prior to joining The Comeback, Jones spent a year writing for FanSided's college football blog, Saturday Blitz, covering news surrounding the sport and recruiting. He spent the same amount of time doing some freelance work for the tabloid/sports outlet BlackSportsOnline. In his free time, Jones loves to cheer on his Kentucky Wildcats, collect sneakers, read a good book, and get in some gains at the gym. You can follow him on Twitter @jonesj2342.