The Cleveland Browns and Houston Texans are the sources of some breaking news on Thursday. NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reports that the Browns have traded running back Duke Johnson to Houston. The Texans are sending back a 2020 conditional fourth-round draft pick.
— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) August 8, 2019
Cleveland Browns Trade Duke Johnson to Houston Texans
Duke Johnson’s name has been floating around in trade talks for several months. At one point, it even came down to a list of a few teams that were said to be most interested. The Texans were one of those teams.
This move makes considerable sense for the Texans. Houston has Lamar Miller already, but not a whole lot else when it comes to running backs. Additionally, Houston has not had a back that is a receiving threat. Enter Duke Johnson.
Throughout his career, Johnson has really been a receiver lining up in the backfield for the Browns. But don’t confuse that with his ability to run the ball, either. Johnson is still a very capable runner of the football as well. Primarily addressing his receiving abilities, though, Johnson consistently ranks near the top in terms of running back receiving stats.
Immediately after drafting him, the Browns knew what they had in Johnson. Cleveland got him involved early and often, enabling him to rack up 379 rush yards on 104 carries, and 534 receiving yards on 61 receptions as a rookie in 2015. Johnson took two of those 61 receptions to the end zone for touchdowns.
Johnson publicly stated that he was dissatisfied with his workload in Cleveland back in March. This was reasonable, as his stats saw a significant dip in 2018. Johnson posted career-lows in rushing and receiving yardage but tied his career-high in receiving touchdowns with three. Johnson rushed for 201 yards on just 40 carries. He caught 47 passes for 429 yards and three touchdowns last season. For his entire career, Johnson has 1,286 rush yards on 299 carries and 2,170 receiving yards on 235 receptions. He has 13 combined touchdowns, five on the ground and eight through the air.