Sometime after the Cleveland Browns signed Kareem Hunt in February, running back Duke Johnson asked the team to trade him.
But listening to the Browns’ general manager, it doesn’t sound like Johnson will be going elsewhere anytime soon.
John Dorsey: ‘He’s a vital part of the offense’
GM John Dorsey met with media on Thursday and was asked whether Johnson’s trade request changes anything with how the Browns view the 25-year-old back.
“No,” Dorsey said. “When you sit down with [head coach] Freddie [Kitchens] and the coaching staff, they see him as a vital part of this offense moving forward. He’s a good playmaker.”
A third-round draft pick in 2015, Johnson has been a situational player for Cleveland, playing in all 64 games but starting just 10. Last year he had 40 carries for 201 yards plus 47 catches for 429 yards and three touchdowns. But that marks just over half the total touches he’d gotten in 2017.
“Duke’s a very talented football player,” Dorsey said. “We see a lot of stuff for Duke moving forward. ... He’s a member of this organization moving forward.”
Vital now, but what about later?
Left unsaid in Dorsey’s comments: Sure, Johnson is needed now, but what about later?
As in, after Hunt serves his eight-game suspension?
The NFL announced a month ago that Hunt has been suspended for the first eight games of the season for violating the personal conduct policy; the 2017 draft pick was caught on surveillance cameras at his Cleveland residence in February 2018 trying to kick a woman outside of his apartment, and also got into a physical altercation with another guest at an Ohio resort last summer.
Hunt is not appealing the decision.
On Thursday, Dorsey said he’s proud of the way Hunt has worked inside and outside of the Browns’ facility since being signed. Dorsey drafted Hunt when he was GM of the Kansas City Chiefs.
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