Less than a month after being fired by the Cleveland Browns, Alex Van Pelt already has a new job. The New England Patriots announced on Thursday that the 53-year-old has been hired as the franchise's new offensive coordinator after occupying the same job in Cleveland from 2020 to 2023.
Van Pelt joins a Patriots team that averaged an NFL-worst 13.9 points per game this campaign. For reference, the Browns finished 12th, 20th, 18th, and 10th in terms of points across the Pittsburgh, PA native's four seasons with the franchise.
With Van Pelt a part of a new organization, being surrounded by familiar faces could make the transition easier. Free agency opens next month and it isn't unfathomable that he might try to convince some Browns to re-join him in New England.
Here are three Cleveland players Van Pelt might try to steal for the Patriots.
1. Kareem Hunt, RB
With veteran running back Ezekiel Elliott hitting free agency this offseason, I wouldn't be surprised if Van Pelt tries to lure Kareem Hunt to Foxboro.
After all, Van Pelt was Hunt's OC for four of the rusher's five seasons with the Browns. The ex-Toledo product made eight starts across 56 games during that span, turning 534 carries into 2,106 rushing yards and 29 touchdowns.
Even though Hunt took a step back this season (career-worst 3.0 yards per carry), his nine rushing TDs were a new personal best. It isn't unthinkable that the 28-year-old would want to build off that performance with Van Pelt in New England. The Patriots also likely wouldn't be opposed to that considering that their backfield combined for nine rushing TDs total in 2023.
With Rhamondre Stevenson already commanding the Patriots' backfield, Hunt could potentially see a role similar to the one he saw playing behind Nick Chubb if he bolts for New England.