Duke Johnson has gotten his wish.
On Thursday, the Cleveland Browns announced that they’ve traded the running back to the Houston Texans.
Conditional fourth-round pick
Via NFL Network, the Texans are giving Cleveland a 2020 fourth-round pick that can become a third-rounder. Houston Chronicle writer John McClain reported that it becomes a third if Johnson is active for 10 games.
A third-round pick in 2015 who has been a solid three-down contributor for Cleveland, Johnson asked for a trade earlier this year, sometime after the team signed Kareem Hunt.
The Browns had also drafted a running back, Nick Chubb, in the second round in 2018, and Johnson believed he’d be the odd man out. Ironically, the second-round pick the Texans gave Cleveland to take quarterback Brock Osweiler is the one the Browns used on Chubb.
Cleveland general manager John Dorsey said in April he wasn’t inclined to trade Johnson and that head coach Freddie Kitchens intended on making Johnson “a vital part of the offense,” but that may have ended once Hunt’s eight-game suspension is over.
Opportunity with Texans
Johnson should get the opportunity he was looking for with the Texans. After releasing D’Onta Foreman last week, Houston had Lamar Miller as its top back and not much else in terms of proven players behind him.
Johnson would seem to be more of a pass-catcher than Miller, averaging almost 60 receptions per season over his first four years; Miller has averaged around 30 in his three seasons with Houston.
Miller is also now in the final year of the four-year, $26 million free agent contract he signed with Houston in 2016. Johnson agreed to a three-year, $15.6 million extension with Cleveland last year which begins this season and the Texans now take on.
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