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Browns running back Duke Johnson will participate in OTA’s

Duke Johnson, Browns

Running back Duke Johnson, who’s skipped the Cleveland Browns’ voluntary offseason program until now, will participate in OTAs which begin Tuesday, according to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

Johnson requested a trade earlier this offseason after the Browns acquired former Chiefs back Kareem Hunt. However, the Browns have maintained the fact that they see Johnson as a key part of their team moving forward.

“Duke is under contract,’’ coach Freddie Kitchens said on the final day of the NFL Draft April 27th. “I’ve said this for like a month now, I don’t know where all this trade talk started happening. People just assumed that we are going to trade him because we signed another good football player. Me, personally, I like good football players and I like as many of them as we can get.”

Browns GM John Dorsey acknowledged before the draft that he had conversations about trading Johnson. He too, though, echoed the same sentiment that you can never have too many good players.

Regardless, it is reasonable to wonder how big of a role Johnson can have, especially late this season when Hunt returns from his eight-game suspension to a backfield that already has standout sophomore Nick Chubb.

Kitchens said not to worry about that. Getting the ball into the hands of playmakers is largely his responsibility.

“Then, it’s our job to get them the ball and to help enable them to help us win in whatever role that is. Duke Johnson is on this football team, Duke Johnson will have a vital role in this football team and Duke Johnson will help us win football games. “