Days after new coach Freddie Kitchens said the running back's trade request "doesn't matter to me" and that Johnson's demands to play elsewhere don't affect him "one bit," Browns general manager John Dorsey has chimed in with his own thoughts. Joining 92.3 The Fan on Tuesday, he echoed Kitchens' remarks about Johnson's place being in Cleveland.
"I keep telling you guys and you all don't listen to me," Dorsey said, per Keith Britton. "Duke Johnson is a viable member of this organization. He's very talented. This organization has plans to use him."
Although Dorsey's remarks didn't include an explicit denial that a trade could still occur, they all but mirrored Kitchens' comments earlier in the week.
"Duke's under contract," the head coach said, per ESPN. "I've said this for a month now, I don't know where all this trade talk started happening. People just assumed we would trade him because we signed another good football player. I like good football players, and I like as many as I can get ... At this point in time, him asking for a trade doesn't matter to me. He's a Cleveland Brown. Duke's the type of the guy who's going to show up and he's going to do his job and he's going do his job well."
Buried in all the talk is an admission that Johnson does, in fact, desire to be moved. Reports out of Cleveland earlier in the offseason said the former third-round draft pick was Kansas City Chiefs star Kareem Hunt. The Philadelphia Eagles reportedly even after trading for ex-Chicago Bears starter Jordan Howard but have since added Miles Sanders through the 2019 NFL Draft.and that the Browns were at one point following their free agent acquisition of former
Johnson figures to be Cleveland's No. 3 RB once Hunt returns from an eight-game suspension, but he's excelled as a pass-catching option for the team since entering the NFL in 2015, racking up 235 catches and 2,170 yards.