After showing up for Cleveland Browns mandatory minicamp, Browns running back Duke Johnson says he still wants to be traded.
Johnson requested a trade in April after the Browns put him on the trade block and were unable to complete a trade. The Browns started shopping Johnson around the league after signing Kareem Hunt in February, creating less of a role in the offense for Johnson.
The 25-year-old has not been a part of any of the Browns’ offseason program so far, and his appearance at the team’s facility Tuesday for mandatory minicamp was his first time with the team this offseason.
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Johnson signed a contract extension with the Browns last offseason after being arguably the team’s best play-maker in 2017. The running back led the Browns in receiving yards during their 0-16 campaign in 2017.
Despite the extension and showing the ability to change the game offensively, Johnson saw his role dramatically decrease in 2018. Johnson played all 16 games, but rushed for only 201 yards on 40 carries and caught 47 passes for 429 yards and three touchdowns. Overall, Johnson had 69 fewer touches in 2018 compared to 2017.
For most of the offseason, Browns general manager John Dorsey and head coach Freddie Kitchens have said Johnson will have a role in the offense in 2019. Both seemed to not be too worried about Johnson’s initial trade request, including Kitchens saying the trade request didn’t matter to him.
With Johnson making it known publicly he is not happy with the Browns, it will be interesting to see if the Browns become more motivated to move the running back. Even though Johnson said he will not be disgruntled if the Browns do not trade him, Dorsey and Kitchens have said multiple times this offseason they want the players on their roster to be all-in with the team.
It is obvious the Browns have not received an offer from another team that would make them want to move Johnson, as Dorsey has said he would not trade the running back unless it was for the right compensation. But they may start to lessen their demands as the weeks drag on.