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Browns' Baker Mayfield Rips Duke Johnson, Says Trade Request Is 'Self-Inflicted'

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistJune 4, 2019

Cleveland Browns quarterback Baker Mayfield, right, hands off to Cleveland Browns running back Duke Johnson in the first half of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 30, 2018, in Baltimore. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster)
Carolyn Kaster/Associated Press

As Cleveland Browns running back Duke Johnson Jr. seeks a trade, quarterback Baker Mayfield sounded off on his teammate's trade request.

ig: josinaanderson @JosinaAnderson

#Browns QB Baker Mayfield on Duke Johnson still wanting to be traded and why it’s not awkward to him: “Self-Inflicted” ~~but Mayfield still feels Johnson is talented & can be a professional. https://t.co/PqRwyN7O5z

"It's not awkward. It's self-inflicted," Mayfield said of Johnson's situation Tuesday, according to 92.3 The Fan's Keith Britton. "I hope he does his job."

The second-year passer added, per NFL Network's Aditi Kinkhabwala, "We gotta have guys that are goal-oriented, who have a single focus and mindset."

Johnson's role in the Browns offense has seemingly changed dramatically since he signed a three-year, $15.6 million extension last June. Nick Chubb appears to be the lead tailback for Week 1 after running for 996 yards and eight touchdowns as a rookie last season. In February, the team also signed 2017 Pro Bowler Kareem Hunt, who is suspended for the first eight games of 2019 after he shoved and kicked a woman at a hotel.

When Hunt returns from his ban, though, he and Chubb figure to see the majority of the workload out of the backfield.

As a result, Johnson requested a trade back in April. He remains a Brown more than two months later, but his feelings on the matter have not changed:

Mary Kay Cabot @MaryKayCabot

#Browns Duke Johnson said he still wants to be traded https://t.co/HPg2P7Aach

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Johnson noted during that media session that he made his initial trade request while knowing the team had placed him on the trade block the month before. According to Cleveland.com's Mary Kay Cabot, the 25-year-old feels "unwanted."

If the Browns do make Johnson available, there will likely be interest around the league. The 2015 third-round pick has proved he can make plays both on the ground and in the passing game, having piled up 1,286 rushing yards and 2,170 receiving yards in his career. He has averaged 58.8 receptions over the last four seasons.

While Johnson wants out, he remains a valuable playmaker and is under contract for three more years. With Hunt sidelined for the first half of the season, the Browns may not be inclined to move Johnson at this point, as it would hurt the team's depth at running back.

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