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Caplan: Browns Tried to Retain WR Charles Johnson Last Year

Bruce Kluckhohn-USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland Browns fans remember the story of WR Charles Johnson, who was billed as having some of the same tools as WR Josh Gordon. Two years ago, Johnson was on injured reserve, meaning last year was his chance to prove himself in training camp. Johnson did not end up making the 53-man roster, but the Browns placed him on their practice squad. Less than a month later, the Minnesota Vikings signed him off Cleveland's practice squad, and later in the year, he became a starting receiver for them. Now, it looks like Johnson is ready to take off, according to ESPN's Adam Caplan:

I don't recall Caplan's tweet being previously reported, but he says that the Browns matched the Vikings' offer, meaning they were willing to promote him to their 53-man roster in order to retain his rights. Johnson thought he had a better opportunity for playing time in Minnesota, so he signed with the Vikings. The end result is a great move for Johnson, who gets a shot at being a No. 1 receiver, but a disheartening one for Cleveland, knowing they were oh-so-close to getting it right with Johnson.

I don't fault the Browns for the whole situation, and Zac Jackson sums it up with this tweet:

We were waiting for Johnson to break out and show us any sign that he had Gordon-like potential. Nothing stood out throughout camp or the preseason.