It appears as if Duke Johnson will be staying in Cleveland.
After the Browns running back requested a trade earlier in the offseason, coach Freddie Kitchens is adamant that the team has no intention of letting Johnson go.
“We’re not giving away good players,” Kitchens said Wednesday (via cleveland.com), the day before training camp starts. “He’s going to have a significant role on this football team.”
Johnson fired his previous agent and hired Drew Rosenhaus to help him get traded, but Browns general manager John Dorsey said he has been communicating with Rosenhaus about Johnson’s situation.
“Drew and I have had really good conversations,” Dorsey said, adding that they met on Tuesday. “If history repeats itself, he’ll be a very productive player in this offense.”
Johnson and Nick Chubb are expected to be the backfield duo for the first half of the regular season, although it’s unclear how the team will adjust when Kareem Hunt joins the team after his eight-game suspension ends.
Dorsey also pointed out that Johnson is under contract, having signed a three-year, $15.61 million extension before the 2018 season that runs through the 2021 season.
Despite the discord between Johnson and the team, he has reported to camp and will be on the field Thursday, according to cleveland.com.