Duke Johnson 'OK' if Browns ultimately trade him

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The saga surrounding the Cleveland Browns and running back Duke Johnson apparently isn't closer to any resolution.

Johnson, whose name has been often linked to trade scenarios during the offseason, told reporters Tuesday that he is fine if the Browns ultimately decide to move on from his services.

"At the end of the day I understand the nature of the business," Johnson said, via Mary Kay Cabot of the Plain Dealer. "I understand his job, [general manager] John Dorsey's job is to do what's best for the team and organization.

"And again, if that's getting rid of me for bigger piece and a better piece, then I'm OK with it. Like I said before, my trade request was to meet them at a middle ground. I was put on the trade block a month before I requested a trade, so that's all it is."

Whether the Browns are continuing to explore options remains unknown, and at least one of his teammates believes Johnson's situation is "not awkward" and "self-inflicted."

Still, what is known at this point surrounds the Browns remaining steadfast in their stance there is a place on the roster for Johnson. Head coach Freddie Kitchens previously stated in late March that Johnson "will have a role" on offense and Dorsey stated in late April that Johnson will be a "vital part" on the Browns.

On Tuesday, Kitchens, in an interview with NFL Network's Aditi Kinkhabwala and Andrew Siciliano, was emphatic that Johnson will be a contributor.

"Duke has to be able to voice what he feels," Kitchens said. "As long as it doesn't affect our team -- our team -- whatever he wants to say he says. Like I've said this numerous times, no disrespect to you guys, but the media creating something more than, it was just a comment. He wants to be traded, you know. I want to win the lottery. Alright, so, it doesn't matter. He's a Cleveland Brown. He's under contract. He's going to be used to the best of his ability and what benefits the team. And that's what we're going with. As far as the media-driven controversies, there's no controversy on our team and that's the only ones that matter."

Johnson, who signed an extension last summer, has three years remaining on his contract, which pays a base salary of $1.8 million in 2019.

Given running back Kareem Hunt's eight-game suspension to start the season, it certainly makes sense for the Browns to hold on to Johnson as depth behind Nick Chubb.

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