Drew Rosenhaus, the new agent of Cleveland Browns running back Duke Johnson Jr., flew into Cleveland on Tuesday in order to inquire with management why his client remains a member of the Browns.
The story was broken by Mary Kay Cabot on cleveland.com.
Duke Johnson's agent Drew Rosenhaus met with John Dorsey at the #Browns facility today about Duke's trade request, source tells clevelanddotcom. Browns still see him as a valuable part of the team https://t.co/Q0yMFaKryT— Mary Kay Cabot (@MaryKayCabot) July 23, 2019
Johnson has stated that he wishes to be traded to a club that will use his skill set, and would prefer it happen prior to the season so that he can become acclimated to his new team’s offensive playbook, system and coaching staff. The running back has also said that if indeed the Browns are ultimately going to trade him because of running back Kareem Hunt - who will not become available until after the first eight games due to a suspension - that he wants to be traded now instead of later.
When Johnson fired his other representation and hired Rosenhaus in mid-July, the expectations were for the high-profile agent to get the ball rolling and use his vast resources to help facilitate a trade. But, so far, nothing has transpired with training camp beginning on Thursday.
At this point, however, Johnson’s value isn’t very attractive and management doesn’t want to give him away. The Browns are hoping that he will have a very good 2019 season; or perhaps a club will be interested if one of their running backs becomes injured, which will increase the need for a proven back who is very important in the receiving game. At this juncture, his trade value would most likely become only a fifth-round pick.
Another obstacle for the Browns is the fact that Johnson inked a three-year contract extension last year for $15.61 million, with $7.75 million of that guaranteed. Unless he increases his net worth, it will be difficult to find a decent trade partner for a part-time or situational player.
As of yet, the Browns have not changed their position on Johnson, although the franchise is loaded at the running back position with starter Nick Chubb, Johnson, Hunt and the emergence of young Dontrell Hilliard.
Head coach Freddie Kitchens, last year’s offensive coordinator, is very aware of the type of player Johnson is, and can become with this offense. He stated earlier:
“I expect Duke to be a professional, and I think he will be. He’s never been anything but a professional. Whatever his personal feelings are, those are his personal feelings. I’m not going to dictate someone’s feelings. Just like I’ve told you about other players in the past, whatever their feelings are, they’re free to voice whatever they want to say.’’
There have also been tiffs between Johnson and quarterback Baker Mayfield while the Browns’ roster appears to be divided on the issue.
With Rosenhaus in town to meet with general manager John Dorsey, one has to wonder if Johnson will become a training camp holdout if he does not get what he has demanded - a trade.
What should the Browns do with Duke Johnson?
This poll is closed
Trade him now
Trade him once they get a good offer
Keep him and figure out how to utilize his skills
Keep him and tell him to suck it up