NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday morning that Johnson would report to training camp with teammates, per a source informed of the decision. The team later confirmed that Johnson showed up to camp.
"The last time I saw Duke's a Cleveland Brown. And he's a Cleveland Brown, he's reported. So, let's move forward on this," general manager John Dorsey said at a press conference. "Let's move forward here because we've got a lot of goals at stake here in the 2019 season. So, let's build together."
Johnson requested a trade after the team signed running back Kareem Hunt earlier this offseason, hoping to go to a team with a clearer path to touches. Hunt's eight-game suspension clouds the situation. The Browns need Johnson to back up Nick Chubb until Hunt's suspension is over, while Johnson sees the future when he's a bit-part once that eventuality takes place.
Thus the deadlock.
The Browns haven't been bowled over with a trade offer and will likely hang onto Johnson until they get one (perhaps if another team sees its top back go down to injury) or closer to the trade deadline.
"[I said] from the very beginning, that Duke is a Cleveland Brown. He signed a contract last year. He's gonna be here," said coach Freddie Kitchens. "He's going to have a role in our offense and he's going to have a significant role in our offense. He's a productive player. We're not giving away good players, ok? We want good players.
"And if John [Dorsey] can get more good players, I will take them. Don't worry about the ball. We'll find enough balls for him. We just want good players who can make great plays."
Johnson's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, was in Cleveland meeting with team brass about Johnson on Tuesday, Rapoport reported at the time.
Johnson's trade request ruffled some feathers during June minicamp, with quarterback Baker Mayfield tossing out some harsh criticism of the running back's desires to leave the team. NFL Network's Michael Silver then reported some veteran players approached the quarterback about getting into another man's business decisions.
During the down period, the Browns have suggested the issue could be water under the bridge by the start of training camp.
Here we are.
With Johnson reporting, we'll see how Baker and others react to the running back's continued desire for a trade.