BEREA, Ohio (AP) – Browns general manager John Dorsey isn’t rushing to trade running back Duke Johnson, who has asked to be moved.
During his pre-draft news conference Wednesday, Dorsey said Johnson has not reported for the Browns’ voluntary offseason workout program, which began on April 1. Johnson was unhappy with a reduced role last season and his playing time could be affected even more after the signing of Kareem Hunt, who will serve an eight-game NFL suspension to start next season for off-field physical altercations.
Dorsey said he has spoken with Johnson’s agent and coach Freddie Kitchens has texted with him. Dorsey called Johnson a “talented playmaker” and says he looks forward to “seeing him on the field on Sundays.”
“I continually keep telling you all that Duke is a very talented football player,” Dorsey said. “We see a lot of stuff for Duke moving forward into the future with regards to him. He is a member of this organization moving forward.”
It’s not clear if the Browns intend to keep the versatile Johnson, who ran for 201 yards on a career-low 40 carries last season. Johnson was used more in third-down situations behind primary back Nick Chubb, who rushed for 996 yards as a rookie.
“There are 53 guys on this football team. It is about winning,” Dorsey said. “That is the sole objective of this thing moving forward is winning football. Is he a talented football player? Yeah, he is really good, and he is going to help this offense move forward.”