After a constant ebb and flow of discussions, former Cleveland Browns running back Duke Johnson Jr. has gotten his trade request granted. The former Miami Hurricane will be going to the Houston Texans in a deal that broke Thursday morning.
Running back Duke Johnson’s trade request earlier this offseason loomed large over both the Cleveland Browns training camp and Cleveland’s annual Orange and Brown Scrimmage.
On Thursday morning, the two sides finally resolved and agreed on a trade for Johnson, specifically to the Houston Texans.
Johnson was a fine player for the Browns since being drafted out of Miami in 2015, but his time in Cleveland was likely coming to an end with both Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt on the roster.
Johnson’s talents, even as a backfield receiver, were simply no longer up to par with that of Chubb and Hunt. Additionally, his large contract was beginning to haunt John Dorsey and the Browns’ payroll.
Additionally news broke later Thursday morning when compensation was revealed for the trade. ESPN’s Tom Pelissero revealed that the Browns would be getting back a mid-round pick for Johnson, a good value for the running back’s services, all things considered.
Duke Johnson was a fixture in Cleveland since being drafted, but it is likely that he was never used to his full potential. After flashing during his rookie season, the hiring of Hue Jackson put Johnson on the back burner for a while, and he never truly recovered. On the other side, Houston’s release of D’Onta Foreman made them a perfect destination for a running back trade. This looks like the right spot for “The Duke.”
As for what this means for the Browns, running back Dontrell Hilliard will have a much easier time grabbing a 53-man roster spot behind Chubb and Hunt. Duke’s receiving talent will be missed, but the Browns struck while the iron was still hot and received some nice compensation. All in all, a good trade for both sides.