Browns RB Duke Johnson fires agent amid unmet trade-demand dispute

Yahoo Sports

The Duke Johnson saga got a new chapter when the Cleveland Browns running back fired his agent Kristin Campbell.

Campbell confirmed the news that NFL Network originally reported on Tuesday with Cleveland.com.

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“I am very proud that we were able to secure him a lucrative extension during our time with him,’’ Campbell told Cleveland.com via text message. “We wish him the best.’’

Normally a backup running back parting with his agent doesn’t make waves in the NFL. But Johnson has had a tumultuous offseason in Cleveland centered around his failed demands to be traded.

With Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt ahead of him on the depth chart, Johnson asked out of Cleveland sometime after the team signed Hunt in February.

Duke Johnson has fired his agent as his trade demands have gone unmet. (Getty)
Duke Johnson has fired his agent as his trade demands have gone unmet. (Getty)

General manager John Dorsey denied the demand and head coach Freddie Kitchens chided news of it.

“Duke is under contract,’’ Kitchens said in April. “I’ve said this for like a month now, I don’t know where all this trade talk started happening. People just assumed that we are going to trade him because we signed another good football player. Me, personally, I like good football players and I like as many of them as we can get.”

Second-year quarterback Baker Mayfield had more direct words for Johnson when asked about the awkwardness of the situation.

“It's not awkward,” Mayfield told reporters. “No. It's self-inflicted. It is what it is. That's not awkward for anybody else in this building.”

“He's got to do his job. He said he's a professional, I hope he does his job.”

Mayfield’s comments drew criticism from some that he was siding with management over labor in a labor dispute. His comments reportedly prompted some of his veteran teammates to speak with him about it.

Hunt is suspended for the first eight games of the season for assaulting a woman while a member of the Kansas City Chiefs. The Browns presumably value Johnson, who signed a three-year, $15.6 million extension in 2018, as a reliable backup behind Chubb in the meantime and are wont to part with him.

Johnson presumably still wants out and possibly believes a new agent can help him reach his goal.

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