Browns reportedly listening to offers for Duke Johnson after running back asks the team to trade him
Kareem Hunt's arrival has made Johnson expendable
After Browns have been one of the busiest teams this offseason as they put the finishing touches on a roster that has the look of a playoff contender. They might not be done making moves too.and and then , the
According to Cleveland.com's Mary Kay Cabot, Johnson has asked the Browns to trade him. According to NFL Network's Mike Garafolo, the Browns will listen to all offers. However, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reports that the Browns won't just give Johnson away because even with Chubb and Hunt around, they could still find a way to use him. Cleveland.com added that the Browns are "holding out for a high pick."
So who might be interested in acquiring Johnson? According to Cleveland.com, the Jets, Texans, and Eagles have all shown interest ever since . Other teams have also reached out to the Browns, according to Cleveland.com.
It's not clear if Jordan Howard would impact their level of interest in Johnson. Although, it is worth noting that Johnson (a versatile pass-catching threat) is a completely different type of running back than Howard (a more old-school power runner who doesn't offer much as a pass catcher). They could co-exist in Philadelphia. It's also not clear if the Jets would still be interested in Johnson after .for
One thing is clear: Johnson should absolutely be drawing tons of interest in the trade market, because he's a dangerous weapon when used properly.
Some Duke Johnson, Jr. notes:— Field Yates (@FieldYates) April 1, 2019
* Under contract through 2021
* Due base salaries of $1.8M, $3.6M, $4.65M
* Since entering the NFL in 2015, he leads all RB with 2,170 receiving yards
* Third in RB receptions since 2015 with 235
* Career rushing average of 4.3 on 299 attempts
Of the 62 RBs w at least 250 early down rushes+targets the last 3 years, Duke Johnson ranks:— Warren Sharp (@SharpFootball) April 1, 2019
#2 in yards/play (5.8)
#3 in explosiveness
#7 in success rate (52%)
Only 2 RBs rank in the top-10 in all 3 metrics: Johnson & Alvin Kamara.
Duke Johnson is a weapon & a solid asset. https://t.co/0ij68lSVkw
In terms of compensation, the Browns should in theory be able to get something better than a sixth-round pick, which is what the Bears received in return for Howard, a worse running back on the final year of his deal, unlike Johnson.
As Pelissero noted, the Browns shouldn't feel the need to give him away for a cheap offer. With Hunt suspended eight games, they could always rely on Johnson in the early portion of the season and then try to move him at the trade deadline. Or they could keep him for the entire season. You can never have too much depth at running back and it's not like Hunt -- while incredibly talented -- should be viewed as a reliable option
On Monday, Johnson skipped the first day of the Browns' voluntary offseason program. So he appears to have one foot out the door already.
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