Duke Johnson Snaps at Browns Reporter Over Trade Comments

Duke Johnson Browns

Getty Browns running back Duke Johnson Jr.

The talk around Cleveland Browns running back Duke Johnson Jr. and his trade request has been relatively quiet for the last few weeks. Johnson would like to keep it that way.

Johnson spoke to reporters at Rashard Higgins’ charity bowling event over the weekend, and the running back came away upset that some of his comments were being taken out of context. In the crosshairs was George Thomas of the Akron Beacon Journal.

“Sir you asked me about the events that happened at Mini-Camp, and I told you I don’t concern myself with that,” Johnson wrote, tagging the reporter. “Why? Because I was at a bowling event supporting my teammates which I told you. You then went on to asked more questions about it and I told you I wasn’t answering questions about that. We talked about the bowling event and Disney world. Then I told you if you want me to talk about football I will when I get back. You then put this article out lol. But I’m the problem right?”

Johnson — a veteran third-down specialist for the Browns — requested a trade this offseason after the team picked up Pro Bowl back Kareem Hunt in free agency. With the addition of Hunt and the continued improvement of second-year back Nick Chubb, Johnson saw his role in the backfield shrinking to an insignificant size.

“I only want to be somewhere I’m wanted,” Johnson said at minicamp last month. “At the end of the day, that’s all this is about, being somewhere you’re wanted. In my case, the moment I’m not wanted anymore, I think it’s best that we find a middle ground and we do what’s best for the team. If you don’t want me here, there’s no need to keep me or force me to be here.”

Johnson has hinted at trade talks on social media this offseason, previously posting on Instagram a photo of him with the caption, “I’m not sure what’s ’bout to happen next, I asked for strength from the Lord up above.”

Trade requests are just part of the business, but Johnson’s desire made major headlines after quarterback Baker Mayfield delivered his 2 cents on the topic.

“Obviously, he’s going to handle his stuff how he wants, but you’re either on this train or you’re not,” Mayfield said. “It’s moving. You can get out of the way or you can join us. So it is what it is.”

There was a report that Mayfield’s comments caused a rift in the locker room with some of the veterans, but wide receiver Jarvis Landry quickly shook that off, calling it a “non-issue.”