Kareem Hunt needs a job. The running back lost his previous one Friday, when he was cut by the Kansas City Chiefs after a video of him shoving and kicking a woman spread online.
It’s unknown when that next job will come. It’s extremely unlikely, though, that the Raiders will sign Hunt's paychecks, no matter when that day comes.
Raiders owner Mark Davis has taken a hard-line stance against signing players with domestic violence in their background.
"It's just something we can't tolerate," Davis told the San Francisco Chronicle in 2015. "I don't know how to fix it in society, but I know we can't have it on our team."
However, there have been some exceptions.
Hunt, who was supposed to play against the Raiders on Sunday at the Coliseum, now will go on waivers after being cut, and we’ll know if a team has claimed him by Monday afternoon. This immensely talent runner led the NFL in rushing last year as a rookie, and he was putting together another great season until a Feb. 10 incident in a Cleveland hotel caught up with him.
Hunt was contrite and apologetic in a live Sunday morning interview with ESPN, clearly set on trying to repair a sullied image.
It’s possible, though seemingly unlikely, that a team will claim Hunt on waivers despite him being ineligible to practice or play while still getting paid on the commissioner’s exempt list. He’ll stay there until the NFL completes an investigation into the incident that now includes a video the NFL was unable to attain in its original inquiry, despite TMZ succeeding in doing so.
A six-game ban without pay is expected. That’s the NFL standard punishment for perpetrators of domestic violence or assaults on women while playing in the league.
The Athletic reported Saturday night that the Chiefs would vouch for Hunt in his search for another job, hoping to help him avoid the exile that Ray Rice received after he was caught on video punching his significant other.
The Raiders haven’t signed a player with issue like that in his background, but there has been a willingness to do so recently.
The Silver and Black did meet with Bay Area native Joe Mixon before the 2017 NFL draft, and general manager Reggie McKenzie came away impressed but didn't draft him. The former Oklahoma running back was caught on video hitting a woman in Norman, Okla., as a freshman. He ended up with the Cincinnati Bengals.
The Raiders also reportedly offered a contract to Junior Galette, the edge rusher said, despite him being suspended by the NFL for domestic violence.
While players with that background aren't on the roster, offensive line coach Tom Cable is. The former Raiders coach and current assistant has been accused of domestic violence in the past, and that wasn't an issue in his hiring.
The Raiders have a long-term need at running back, with Marshawn Lynch and Doug Martin headed for unrestricted free agency. Coach Jon Gruden has intimated that he’d like Martin to return, and it’s uncertain if Lynch wants to continue his career in Oakland or anywhere else. He's currently on injured reserve.
The Raiders have myriad options in the draft -- young running backs have paid great dividends in recent seasons -- and they could be cheaper, especially if Hunt is able to repair his image and build a competitive market for his services.
Plenty of running backs in the draft or free agency don’t have incidents involving violence against women in their past. There doesn’t seem to be a strong sentiment to specifically add Hunt to the Raiders' roster, though anything remains possible.