Duke Johnson Jr.

© Scott R. Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

John Dorsey says Duke Johnson has a "vital" role with Browns

Johnson has yet to return to Berea since requesting trade

April 18, 2019

Daryl Ruiter-Berea, OH (92.3 The Fan) – Duke Johnson Jr. doesn’t want to be a Brown anymore, but the team isn’t acting like they’re ready to move on from him.

General manager John Dorsey spoke Thursday afternoon as if it is business as usual with the running back despite the fact Johnson has requested a trade and has yet to step foot in the building since the voluntary offseason workout program began April 1.

“I continually keep telling you all that Duke's a very talented football player,” Dorsey said. “We see a lot of stuff for Duke moving forward in the future with regards to him. He's a member of this organization moving forward.”

Dorsey confirmed that he has been in communication with Johnson’s representatives, but not Johnson himself. Head coach Freddie Kitchens has texted back and forth with Johnson recently according to Dorsey.

“He understands the role he's going to play in this offense,” Dorsey said. “Duke, as everybody knows, is a very talented playmaker and I look forward to seeing on the field.”

Dorsey conceded that he’d yet to speak with Johnson or his agent about attending the mandatory minicamp in June, but they are making plans for him this fall.

Last season Johnson’s frustrations over a lack of touches within the offense boiled over and with the addition of Kareem Hunt this offseason, it’s been widely assumed his role would decrease but Dorsey continues to maintain that isn’t going to be the case.

“When you sit down with Freddie and this coaching staff, they see him as a vital part of this offense moving forward,” Dorsey said. “He’s a good playmaker.”

Johnson, who signed a three-year $15.61 contract extension through 2021 last year, has caught a team record 235 passes through his first four seasons and has totaled 2,170 yards and eight touchdowns receiving while adding 1,286 yards and five TDs with a 4.3 yards per carry average on the ground since the team picked him in the third round – No. 77 overall – in the 2015 NFL Draft.

“There’s 53 guys on this football team. It’s about winning,” Dorsey said. “That’s the sole objective as this thing moves forward is winning football [games] and is he a talented football player? Yeah, he’s really good and he’s going to help this offense move forward.”