The Cleveland Browns have been billed as one of the more exciting teams in the NFL heading into next season, with an exciting young QB and a plethora of talent around him. But not all is well in Believeland. As mandatory training camp got underway in Ohio, running back Duke Johnson told media members he wants to be traded in no uncertain terms.
Johnson is currently in the first year of a three-year, $15.6 million contract. He’s a dangerous receiver out of the backfield, but saw less playing time after the team picked up Nick Chubb in the second round of last year’s draft.
Freddie Kitchens, the newest head coach of the Browns after successfully auditioning for the job on an interim basis last season, is not a fan of Johnson’s strategy to force his way into a better playing situation. Like Johnson, he made his opinion perfectly clear to the media, also in no uncertain terms.
Baker Mayfield also weighed in on the situation, saying the trade request wasn’t awkward for the rest of the team because it was “self-inflicted.” It seems clear neither is a big fan of Johnson’s decision to announce his trade desire so publicly.
This isn’t the same as aggressive holdouts from years past; Johnson did say he’ll be all in if he isn’t granted a trade, as opposed to not playing at all. It’s fair to doubt the legitimacy of that claim, however, when he’s clearly not all in now if he’s asking for a trade. A situation to monitor as summer camp gets underway.