Browns reportedly listening to offers for Duke Johnson after running back asks the team to trade him

After trading for Olivier Vernon and Odell Beckham and then trading away Emmanuel Ogbah, the 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.

Ever since the team added running back Kareem Hunt to a backfield that already features Nick Chubb, it's been expected that Duke Johnson could be on the move. Sure enough, now that the Browns know how long Hunt has been suspended by the NFL (eight games), a potential trade could be coming.

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 the Browns signed Hunt back in February. Other teams have also reached out to the Browns, according to Cleveland.com.

It's not clear if the Eagles' recent trade for 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 landing Le'Veon Bell in free agency

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.

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 given the reason why he's facing an eight-game suspension.

On Monday, Johnson skipped the first day of the Browns' voluntary offseason program. So he appears to have one foot out the door already. 

CBS Sports Writer

Sean Wagner-McGough joined CBS Sports in 2015 after graduating from UC Berkeley. A native of Seattle, Sean now resides in the Bay Area. He spends his spare time defending Jay Cutler on Twitter. Full Bio

Our Latest Stories