Duke Johnson Traded to Texans from Browns for 2020 4th-Round Draft Pick

Rob Goldberg@TheRobGoldbergFeatured ColumnistAugust 8, 2019

Cleveland Browns running back Duke Johnson (29) during the first half of an NFL football game against the Denver Broncos, Saturday, Dec. 15, 2018, in Denver. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

Running back Duke Johnson Jr. is heading to the Houston Texans after the team swung a trade with the Cleveland Browns on Thursday.  

Cleveland will receive a 2020 fourth-round pick that can become a third-round pick, per Tom Pelissero of NFL Network.

Johnson, the No. 77 overall pick in the 2015 draft, has spent his entire four-year NFL career with the Browns. While he's listed as a running back, he is mostly known for his receiving skills out of the backfield.

In four seasons, the 25-year-old has totaled only 1,286 rushing yards, but he has 2,170 receiving yards on 235 catches.

Johnson has proved to be a valuable commodity on third downs and when the team is playing catch-up. His receiving skills and playmaking ability helped him earn a three-year, $15.6 million extension before the 2018 season.

However, he received the fewest touches of his career (87) in 2018 with rookie Nick Chubb coming into his own. The signing of Kareem Hunt this offseason created an even more crowded backfield for 2019.

Although Chubb and Hunt caused Johnson to be expendable, multiple teams were interested in trading for him earlier this offseason, per Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com.

Johnson officially asked for a trade in June after claiming to be unhappy with his situation:

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Even with his request, the team didn't show much interest in entertaining a trade.

"He wants to be traded. I want to win the lottery. It doesn't matter," head coach Freddie Kitchens said in June, per Aditi Kinkhabwala of NFL Network. "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."

The Browns eventually found a deal that seems to work well for everyone. 

Lamar Miller went to the Pro Bowl for the Texans last season, but he has never been much of a receiver. Houston recently cut D'Onta Foreman, creating a need at the position behind Miller.

Johnson can earn significant snaps with his new team while adding a new dimension in the passing attack.

With a minuscule $3.05 million cap hit in 2019, per Spotrac, Johnson should be a perfect addition to a Texans team with high expectations this season.

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