12 Browns Players Who Won't Return Next Season

Breaking down the most likely Cleveland Browns players who won't return for the 2024 season.

Dec 17, 2023; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Joe Flacco (15) throws the ball
Dec 17, 2023; Cleveland, Ohio, USA; Cleveland Browns quarterback Joe Flacco (15) throws the ball / Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports
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5. Kareem Hunt

Kareem Hunt was right up there with Flacco as one of the Browns' biggest heroes during this past campaign. The former Pro Bowler came in off of the couch and ended up being one of this offense's most important contributors with his team-leading 9 touchdowns, helping fill the void left behind by Nick Chubb's injury.

That being said, Hunt and Cleveland might be right back in the situation they were in last offseason. The Browns decided Hunt wasn't a must in terms of free agents to re-sign, and they let him test the market. He found little interest and went into Week 1 without a job.

The Chubb injury changed his prospects in a hurry, but there's a reason he was left unsigned for so long. The once-electric talent is now clearly in the twilight of his career. He posted a disappointing 3.8 yards per carry in 2022 for Cleveland, which marked the first time he'd ever fallen below the 4.0 threshold.

His effectiveness was even worse this year, though, as his YPC fell to a meager 3.0 -- below most replacement-level backs.

Hunt now finds himself in Ezekiel Elliott territory of an aging veteran whose only main appeal is as a short-yardage scoring threat. That's a very limited role, and most franchises won't want to spend a roster spot on the hope of Hunt scoring TDs to make his signing worth it.

While Chubb's status is up in the air for the start of next season, the Browns were comfortable beginning last year without Hunt in the fold as Jerome Ford was prepped for a bigger role. The team may very well lean on Ford and Pierre Strong to hold them over until Chubb's return.