Cleveland Browns, NFL Offseason

Baker Mayfield isn’t wasting time on Duke Johnson

The second-year quarterback for the Cleveland Browns didn’t mince words when asked about running back Duke Johnson’s trade request.

Baker Mayfield didn’t hide his feelings on Tuesday when asked about Cleveland Browns running back Duke Johnson. Johnson, who is entering his fourth year with the Browns, didn’t attend any voluntary OTAs and has asked the Browns to trade him.

“That’s something we’ve been dealing with for awhile,” Mayfield said when speaking to media after the first day of the Browns minicamp. “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. You can get out of the way or you can join us.”

When asked if the trade quest made things awkward at mandatory minicamp, Mayfield said no. “It’s not awkward,” he said. “It’s self-inflicted. It is what it is. It’s not awkward for anyone else in this building.”

Johnson has been a productive player for the Browns. He has never been the team’s main running back, but he has averaged 864 yards from scrimmage per season since 2015. He hasn’t missed a game since he was drafted, and has only been listed as questionable twice.

But Johnson is worried about what kind of role he will have on the team. In addition to drafting Nick Chubb last year, the Browns signed Kareem Hunt in the offseason. Hunt will be suspended for the first half of the season, but there is speculation that the Browns might be more interested in a trade for Johnson once Hunt becomes a solid part of their running back scheme.

But comments from head coach Freddie Kitchens suggest the Browns have no plans to get rid of Johnson. At least for now.

“He wants to be traded. I want to win the lottery. It doesn’t matter,” said Browns coach Freddie Kitchens, per NFL Network’s Aditi Kinkhabwala. “He’s under contract. He’s a Cleveland Brown. He’s going to be used to the best of his ability in what benefits the team.”

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