George McCaskey wouldn’t dismiss the possibility of the Bears signing disgraced former Chiefs running back Kareem Hunt, but said the team was nowhere near making any such decision.
“We’re not there yet,” he said Thursday in a sit-down interview with the Sun-Times. “[General manager] Ryan [Pace] hasn’t said anything to me about Kareem Hunt and [coach] Matt [Nagy] hasn’t said anything to me about Kareem Hunt.”
If they do, McCaskey said he’d be willing to review whatever research the Bears would have done on Hunt, who was released Nov. 30 after video showed him pushing and kicking a woman in a Cleveland hotel last year.
Almost four years ago, McCaskey had initial reservations about signing Ray McDonald, the former 49ers defensive lineman with a domestic violence history. He acquiesced the Bears signing him only after meeting with the player in person and calling his parents.
McDonald was arrested 62 days after the Bears signed him, leading to his prompt dismissal.
McCaskey said the incident wouldn’t dissuade him from considering other players with a troubled past — but admitted that he made a mistake on McDonald.
“We said then, and we’re saying now, every situation is evaluated on its own merits,” he said. “I said then that I made a mistake because I didn’t follow my gut.”
McCaskey was asked how that experience would affect his appetite for another troubled player.
“If we got to that point, I would see what information is given to me, and review that, and make whatever inquiries I thought were appropriate,” he said. “It wouldn’t necessarily be talking to the individual, or his parents. That’s just the way I approached that situation.”
Nagy said that he called Hunt, whom he coached last year, earlier this month. Pace wouldn’t dismiss the notion of signing him, either.
Any decision, McCaskey said, seems far in the future.
“We’re not there yet,” he said. “The player’s not even eligible. The important thing is that he address issues in his personal life at this point.”