The Cleveland Browns have a few good running backs that the Pittsburgh Steelers will be tasked with trying to shut down twice during the 2019 regular season but as of Thursday morning Duke Johnson won’t be one of them.
According to the Browns, they traded Johnson to the Houston Texans on Thursday in exchange for a conditional 2020 fourth-round draft pick that can potentially become a third-round pick.
Johnson has been unhappy in Cleveland for a while and had requested that the Browns trade him this past spring. That unhappiness was a result of how he was being used on offense as he believed he deserved more playing time than he was receiving. The Browns played their cards right with Brown and held on to Johnson until they were able to receive more than adequate compensation for him.
Johnson was originally selected by the Browns in the third-round of the 2015 NFL Draft out of Miami. He appeared in 64 games with 10 starts and registered 1,286 rushing yards and 2,170 receiving yards on 235 receptions with 13 total touchdowns. In the 8 games that Johnson has played against the Steelers to date he has registered 72 yards rushing and 217 yards receiving with one total touchdown. He’s proven himself to be very nice receiving option out of the backfield since arriving in the NFL.
The Browns could afford to trade Johnson away because of them also having running backs Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. Hunt, however, will miss the first 8 games of the 2019 regular season due to a suspension. The other Browns running backs currently under contract are Dontrell Hilliard, D’Ernest Johnson, and A.J. Ouellette.