The Cleveland Browns open training camp in less than a week and Duke Johnson Jr. is expected to be in attendance, despite a highly-publicized trade request that the running back back issued this offseason.
When asked during an event in Cleveland if Johnson’s demand will be a distraction when training camp begins, veteran wide receiver Jarvis Landry wasn’t too worried.
“It will not be a distraction,’’ Landry told Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot. “Our focus is pretty clear. We want to win a championship and the guys that are here, that’s going to help us do that. We start on Thursday. Let’s get it done.’’
Johnson, who has spent his entire four-year NFL career with the Browns, asked for a ticket out of town when the Browns announced they were bringing on free agent and 2017 NFL rushing leader Kareem Hunt, who was released by the Kansas City Chiefs following disturbing video of him kicking and shoving a woman in a hotel was made public.
Baker Mayfield’s Comments on Duke Johnson’s Trade Request
The trade drama became a major story line during minicamp, mostly due to quarterback Baker Mayfield responding to a question about Johnson with his usual honesty.
“That’s something that we’ve been dealing with for a while,” Mayfield said at the time. “If we have guys that want to be here, they’ll show that, they’ll voice that. Obviously he’s going to handle his stuff how he wants, but you’re either on this train or you’re not, it’s moving. You can get out of the way or you can join us. So it is what it is.”
Duke Johnson’s Role With the Cleveland Browns
Johnson has long been slotted into the team’s third-down role as an active pass-catcher out of the backfield, averaging 59 catches and over 500 yards per season in his career. But with the emergence of Nick Chubb as the Browns’ long-term lead back and Hunt on the depth chart — albeit for the second half of the season due to an eight-game suspension — Johnson decided there was no longer a place for him on the team.
Johnson recently fired his agent Kristin Campbell and hired noted super-agent Drew Rosenhaus to try and make his trade request a reality.
Last offseason, Johnson inked a lucrative three-year, $15.6 million extension. His contract value is the 13th highest among running backs, according to Spotrac, just behind Panthers running back Christian McCaffery. So while he’s making starter-level money, he wants the opportunity to produce like one.
Follow the Heavy Cleveland Browns page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!