The Cleveland Browns traded disgruntled running back Duke Johnson to the Houston Texans on Thursday for an undisclosed 2020 draft pick. A person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press that Cleveland is getting a fourth-round pick that can become a third-rounder.
The person spoke on condition of anonymity because the teams are not providing details of the swap.
One of the NFL’s most versatile backs in the past four seasons, Johnson had grown unhappy with his role and asked to be traded this year after the Browns signed suspended free agent running back Kareem Hunt.
The 25-year-old Johnson has been sidelined for much of training camp with a hamstring injury. He skipped the team’s voluntary offseason program and in June and doubled down on his trade request, saying he was bothered the Browns weren’t showing him any loyalty after he signed a contract extension.
General manager John Dorsey was adamant he wasn’t going to “give away” Johnson. Before the trade, Dorsey and coach Freddie Kitchens insisted Johnson would have a “vital” role in Cleveland’s offense this season.
During his rift with the Browns, Johnson changed agents and hired Drew Rosenhaus, who met with Dorsey at the start of training camp.
Johnson has rushed for 1,286 career yards and caught 235 passes for 2,170.
With Johnson gone and Hunt out for the first eight games because of an NFL suspension for two violent incidents, second-year back Nick Chubb will get the majority of carries.
The Browns drafted Johnson in the third round in 2015 out of Miami.
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