The Cleveland Browns have made a lot of noise this NFL offseason, but some news that emerged on Monday is not exactly what the team would like to hear. Browns longtime running back Duke Johnson has requested to be traded from the tea.
— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) April 1, 2019
Johnson is facing the harsh reality that he might soon be third in the pecking order behind Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt once he comes back from serving his suspension. The Browns have never used Johnson as their workhorse back, but rather have taken advantage of his fantastic catch-and-run abilities and quick bursts of speed.
Johnson would be a great addition to any team in need of running back with his skill set. The Browns have to either shop Johnson or convince him to stay, but Johnson could opt to sit considering the lack of work he'll likely see in the near future. It has to be disheartening news for the team, but Johnson can't be faulted for wanting a more significant role. Cleveland has been the only team Johnson has played for in his career since entering the league back in 2015.
The Browns have been fortunate enough to have a running back who has never missed a game in four-year career, but his numbers fell off a bit after Chubb's emergence last season. Johnson had career lows in receptions, receiving yards, carries, and rushing yards while still playing in all 16 games. The Browns have a tough situation on their hands, but it sounds likely Johnson played his last season with the team in 2018.