Duke Johnson asks to be traded

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When Browns running back Duke Johnson didn’t show up to the first day of voluntary offseason work, it naturally fueled the talk that had already begun that he could be traded. It appears a trade is exactly what Johnson wants.

Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com reports that Johnson’s representatives have asked the Browns to trade him.

The Jets, Texans and Eagles are among the teams reportedly showing interest.

The Browns chose Johnson in the third round of the 2015 NFL draft. Less than a year ago, they signed him to a three-year, $15.6 million contract extension, and it appeared that he was in the Browns’ plans for the long run. But although he played all 16 games last season, he didn’t get a lot of involvement in the offense, carrying just 40 times for 201 yards and adding 47 catches for 429 yards. Johnson is a good receiver and could yield a draft pick in a trade with a team that wants a versatile running back. It appears his future will not be in Cleveland.

65 responses to “Duke Johnson asks to be traded

  1. Steelers should offer a mid round pick for him. Conner did well but missed too many games with injury. Samuels did alright but wasn’t efficient.

  2. Johnson will make a great impact for some team in the league, no matter where he ends up. He’s a QB’s best friend, whether it’s a young guy or old salt, but I can’t help but think that Brady and Brees would LOVE to split Johnson out wide from the backfield. Johnson is just so useful in the passing game that we forget about his ability as a runner, but remember that splitting him out is only effective if he’s a threat to run the ball as well. That versatility is what most teams would love to have today.

  3. Usually when a bunch of players want off a team it’s a bad sign because it’s players wanting off a bad team. The Browns situation with Johnson and Ogbah and possibly others is just the opposite — the team has improved so much that these useful players are blocked by better players and they want to go where they have a chance to play. Good for the Browns.

  4. Darren Sproles has made a RESPECTABLE career. Duke, settle down young man. You are getting paid now with what YOU agreed was a good deal LAST year… A RB always gets ‘injured’ … Lay back. Wait for your time. If Chubb/Hunt(in weeks 9-17) don’t get hurt; then you still get PAID to the same deal you just signed. You’re signed. Enjoy your life bra.

  5. I see Belichick trying to grab him, a somewhat running back, a full time receiver out of the backfield.

  6. That was an average of 5.5 touches a game and 7.3 yards per touch. Those kind of numbers should get him a lot of interest. However, often those good numbers are partially the result of the fact that the player is not keyed on by the defense because they are only in the game occasionally.

  7. “I think the Eagles ship has sailed….with the Jordan Howard trade”

    ——–

    The Eagles have been aggressive in player acquisition the last two years, and are actually the team that most fits Johnson’s style right now. The Patriots and Saints are also great fits, as would presumably be the Buccaneers if Arians’ past history is any indicator. You’re right in saying that the Howard trade affects this, but only in the respect that they gave a pick that they would presumably use to acquire Johnson. However, he is the perfect fit for what they want to do-and Sproles is at or nearing the end of his career.

    Johnson is a more proven option than Smallwood and is younger than Sproles. If the Eagles think that they can re-sign him after a trade, I would not be surprised at all if they make an offer. It seems like they want to exhaust their team building options now while Wentz is on his rookie deal, and are being as aggressive as possible. And Johnson seems like the exact kind of back they’re been looking for to complement a power run game that they reestablished with Howard.

  8. mjposner says:
    April 1, 2019 at 6:10 pm
    I think the Eagles ship has sailed….with the Jordan Howard trade
    —–
    These are 2 completely different types of running backs. Howard is a big bruiser type while Duke is more of a 3rd down back who can be more involved in the passing game. Even with the signing of Howard, I was still expecting the eagles to draft a rb, but if they can pick up Duke Johnson there wouldn’t be any need for that and that would be one less need for their draft board.

  9. Jacob Coley says:

    April 1, 2019 at 6:02 pm

    Darren Sproles has made a RESPECTABLE career. Duke, settle down young man. You are getting paid now with what YOU agreed was a good deal LAST year… A RB always gets ‘injured’ … Lay back. Wait for your time. If Chubb/Hunt(in weeks 9-17) don’t get hurt; then you still get PAID to the same deal you just signed. You’re signed. Enjoy your life bra.
    ——–
    He’s not asking for a raise and doesn’t have an issue with the contract, his issue is with playing time.

  10. Last year on Hard Knocks it was Duke who was being held out of practice which prompted Freddie (and then Haley) to ask Hue if he could at least suit up (which Hue arrogantly shot down). I’m not suggesting Freddie or Dorsey are holding grudges but Duke has been exposed to one of the worst losing cultures in sports history and perhaps coddled to a low standard of accountability. As Jarvis Landry said “it’s infectious”.

  11. Duke not getting touches after Kitchens took over play-calling last season shows he’s just not that effective. Did all of his damage in previous years when the Browns were down every game and teams were allowing completions to him out of the backfield. Guy couldn’t get a 1/2 yard on the ground if you needed it – can’t break tackles. Hunt makes him expendable, hopefully the Browns can get a decent pick for him.

  12. Good luck to him. He re-signed when the team wasn’t on the up and didn’t complain. Hopefully the brass takes note of that and sends him to a good team.

  13. Every team in the league should want Duke Johnson. He’s one of the best receiving RBs in the NFL and he’s dirt cheap at $2.3m this season (per Spotrac). As a third down back, he would thrive in an offense that likes to throw and already has a between the tackles runner, like Pittsburgh (Connor), Green Bay (Jones), or Indy (Mack).

  14. If he goes then I hope he goes to the saints. Dude would light up the NFC with a breeze.

    Dont go, Duke! There is a spot for you here. Cook’s in the Kitchens and Baker’s gonna bake!

  15. ak185 says:
    April 1, 2019 at 6:19 pm
    “I think the Eagles ship has sailed….with the Jordan Howard trade”

    —————

    They’re not the same kind of back. Acquiring Howard doesn’t impact the Birds’ interest in Duke. Not at all.

  16. Keep him until near the trade deadline when Hunt will be available. If he doesn’t like it let him stay home and not get paid.

  17. Normally I think situations like this are the result of the player being ridiculous. However, in Johnson’s case I can’t say that I blame him. He’s a pretty good player and if they are only going to use him sparingly I understand why he wants out. He could be an every-down player and make a lot of plays. He likely won’t get the chance to show that in Cleveland. They should be able to get at least a third for him if not a second.

    However, that extension he signed may work against him. In the next three years his salaries (cap number in parentheses) will be $1.8M ($3M), $3.6M ($4.85M) and $4.65M ($5.9M). That might keep some teams from pursuing him.

  18. Welcome to Philly Duke. You’ll love it here, especially the ring we’ll get in February…

  19. mjposner says:
    April 1, 2019 at 6:10 pm
    I think the Eagles ship has sailed….with the Jordan Howard trade

    Doubtful. The Eagles are still projected to take a running back, and unless/until Sproles re-signs, the cupboard is still kind of bare. Howard and Johnson are totally different backs, both of which could fix needs. Especially if they don’t believe in Crawford or Adams long term, who honestly haven’t given them much reason to

  20. Be careful what you ask for, not many backup running backs with a 15.6 million dollar contract. I doubt anyone would want to trade for that unless he’s willing to take a cut.

  21. Arizona should offer a 6th round pick for him. Duke would upgrade AZ’s RB room as a #2 RB/WR behind All-Pro David Johnson giving Arizona another explosive dynamic receiving threat at RB. When David Johnson needs a breather Duke can come in and with a guy like him you wouldn’t have to ride David Johnson to hard week to week wearing him down. With Arizona planning to run a ton of Run/Pass Options & play action two things that Josh Rosen excels running adding another explosive back to pair with David Johnson makes a lot of sense.

  22. Who was the last GB RB (REAL RB – not a Montgomery) that actually scared you catching the ball in open space? Ahman Green? Might be a nice little toy for Rodgers. If not I hope they are working that into Jones’ skill set.

  23. lemdawg says:
    April 1, 2019 at 7:39 pm
    Duke not getting touches after Kitchens took over play-calling last season shows he’s just not that effective. Did all of his damage in previous years when the Browns were down every game and teams were allowing completions to him out of the backfield. Guy couldn’t get a 1/2 yard on the ground if you needed it – can’t break tackles. Hunt makes him expendable, hopefully the Browns can get a decent pick for him.
    —–
    That’s funny. You talk about how bad of a player he is but then you say you’re hoping for a decent pick. I think you know he’s an ok player but you can’t admit that now that he’s gone. And hunt may make him expendable but hunt won’t even be able to step on the field until sometime in November when the season is half way over because of his suspension.

  24. You b. Crazy….

    Duke may be at $2.3 mill in 2019 for a new team, but does that team then want to pay $4.1 mill in 2020 and $5.15 mill in 2021?

    That is a lot of money for a 3rd down back.

  25. Seahawks could use a pass-catching RB as they lost Davis during the off-season. However, I don’t think the FO is willing to pay any money to that position for someone they don’t regard as the primary back (which would be Carson). I assume the Hawks will draft a RB to fill the position, although Johnson seems to fit the mold of what the Hawks will be looking for.

  26. Darren Sproles has made a RESPECTABLE career. Duke, settle down young man. You are getting paid now with what YOU agreed was a good deal LAST year… A RB always gets ‘injured’ … Lay back. Wait for your time. If Chubb/Hunt(in weeks 9-17) don’t get hurt; then you still get PAID to the same deal you just signed. You’re signed. Enjoy your life bra.

    Oh.. your one of those fans. Remember that every time the team cuts a player they signed to a contract. But thanks for capitalizing the words to make your point try to sound more valid.( it didn’t)

  27. Those thinking the Eagles ship has sailed because of Jordan Howard may be in for a surprise. He’s a perfect 1-2 with jordan Howard. They gave up nothing for Howard and he’s on a rookie contract. Just wait….

  28. For Philly, the Howard thing is a low cost experiment at the moment, since he’s in the final year of his rookie deal. I wouldn’t rule Duke out quite yet, Philly haters. He may be the perfect fit and fill a gap, if needed next year.

  29. root4cleveland says:

    April 1, 2019 at 8:53 pm

    If he goes then I hope he goes to the saints. Dude would light up the NFC with a breeze.

    Dont go, Duke! There is a spot for you here. Cook’s in the Kitchens and Baker’s gonna bake!
    ——–
    If he went to the Saints he would probably end up with the same amount of playing time or less considering they have Kamara and Murray.

  30. r8dernation says:
    April 1, 2019 at 11:05 pm
    See, even Duke knows that franchise is cursed.
    ==============================================

    Coming from a Raiders fan? bwahahahaha….that’s too funny.

  31. Browns be really stupud to trade him. Who cares what he is asking for. K. Hunt will not be a contributor until week 10 of the season. Who fills that pass catching RB 3rd down role for 10 weeks? Browns would be even dumber to cut him. Look at all the interested parties right here on this board; 10 teams, minimum.

  32. You want him gang, what you going to give us. Lets start the bidding with a 4th rd pick. Jets fans…….it will cost you D. Lee in this conversation. Are you in?

  33. That’s a bummer. I hope the Browns can get a decent pick or player for him. He’s a Swiss Army knife player on a rapidly evolving team full of specialists. I really wish in a perfect world he’d have waited a year. He’s such a good safety net for the offense. It makes the offense less predictable when he’s on the field.

  34. I doubt the Browns will trade him for a 4th round pick. They are probably looking for a player that they can plug in somewhere. Hunt is no guarantee so I would keep him around. He will be a big part of the first half of the season. No reason to give him away now. If he doesn’t like it, too bad. Honor your contract young man.

  35. Typical Browns. In their most dismal times, a player will step up and be one of the only real studs on the team… So what do the Browns do? Sign a problem player or an average player at the same position, sending a signal to someone who has performed well and given his all that he’s expendable and unappreciated. Lame. I hope Duke goes to a division rival and really hurts the Browns if he gets to play against them.

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