Sophomore QB Baker Mayfield has never been afraid to express himself. Apparently, a few veterans on the Browns did not like what he had to say about the RB Duke Johnson Jr. situation to the media.
“Johnson has been demanding a trade since at least April, and although he showed up for mandatory minicamp in early June, he made it clear that he still wants to be traded, which didn’t sit well with Mayfield.
“That’s something that we’ve been dealing with for a while,” Mayfield said on June 4, via the Plain Dealer. “If we have guys that want to be here, they’ll show that they’ll voice that. Obviously, he’s going to handle his stuff how he wants, but you’re either on this train or you’re not, it’s moving. You can get out of the way or you can join us. So it is what it is.”
First of all, I don’t blame Duke at all. He’s already behind starting RB Nick Chubb and will have to fight it out with Kareem Hunt after eight games (when he returns from suspension). It was the signing of Hunt, a guy dealing with a lot of personal issues, that was a big middle finger to Duke.
Now, what Baker said…is true? If Duke doesn’t want to be here…TRADE HIM. We don’t want that negative energy here in Cleveland. Duke is not a free agent until 2022. He signed a four-year, $16.3 million contract. The deal includes $7.7 million guaranteed. The Browns could get a solid piece back in return for the 5th year back.
Last year, Duke had 40 attempts for 201 yards and 47 catches for 429 yards and three TDs. Honestly, he’s a good player, especially for third-down situations…
Thus, the Browns have a decision to make…
Either tell Duke to suck it up and end up dealing with his attitude problems or trade the man and get something solid in return.
I’m thinking either draft picks or offensive line? Maybe a linebacker?
In summation, Duke is right to be pissed, Baker is right to say he needs a better attitude. However, he maybe shouldn’t have said it to the media. Thus, those guys who are mad at him have a right.
But think about this…
Baker is always going to be a guy with a charged-up attitude. Do we really want him to change that to be politically correct? I certainly don’t.
Frankly, something will have to give and it’ll be up to the front office to make it happen or…not happen and deal with the successes or consequences of that choice.