A rare win-win has occurred.
Duke Johnson Jr. has just been traded to the Houston Texans for a 2020 4th round pick that can become a 3rd round pick if Duke is active for 10 games on the Texans this year.
Heading into his 5th year, Johnson was a fan-favorite here in Cleveland because of his versatility. He rushed for 201 yards last year (on only 40 attempts). Additionally, the former Hurricane caught 47 balls for 429 yards and three touchdowns.
With the addition of Kareem Hunt (despite being out half the year), Johnson was ticked that he was going to be limited this year. Honestly, I would have felt disrespected if it was me.
The Browns were able to trade Johnson and receive a solid pick in return. The Texans needed a running back and Duke will help them.
Moreover, this shows the Browns are still high on Kareem Hunt to come through late in the season. They like RB Dontrell Hilliard to fill that “backup shifting to third-string late in the season” role.
My only issue with this is injuries. Depth is always important…
Nick Chubb is a monster and Kareem Hunt will be great when allowed to play. Hilliard also has potential. However, if one of them were to get hurt – that could have been the time for Duke to shine in Cleveland this year.
Regardless, this is a good move. Duke wanted out and his negative energy was horrible for an organization that is trying to turn the page.
You will be missed, Duke. Best of luck to you in Houston!