The Philadelphia Eagles have expressed interest in trading for Cleveland Browns running back Duke Johnson, according to a report from Andy Slater. This news lines up with an earlier report from Cleveland.com’s Mary Kay Cabot that “at least three NFL teams” are interested in trading for Johnson.
This rumor certainly passes the sniff test. The Eagles need to upgrade their backfield this offseason with both Jay Ajayi and Darren Sproles scheduled to be free agents. The Browns might find Johnson expendable since they already have Nick Chubb and they just signed Kareem Hunt.
Johnson could potentially replace Sproles’ role in the Eagles’ offense. The 25-year-old back isn’t so much a lead ball carrier — with just 4.7 rush attempts per game over his career — as much as he is an offensive weapon. In four years with the Browns, Johnson has logged 235 receptions for 2,170 receiving yards and eight touchdowns. He’s been a relatively efficient runner with 299 carries for 1,286 yards (4.3 yards per attempt) and five rushing scores.
Johnson’s contract is also appetizing. He has base salaries of $1.8 million, $3.6 million, and $4.65 million over the next three seasons. The Eagles could easily fit those numbers into their tight salary cap situation.
The Browns don’t need to rush to trade Johnson so they have leverage when it comes to the asking price. Cleveland also benefits from there seemingly being a competitive market for Johnson’s services.
I’m not sure what it’d cost to acquire Johnson but the Eagles should definitely considering trading for him. The combination of his skill set, age, track record of production, and contract make him an appealing target.
Slater also notes that the Cowboys are one of the teams interested in acquiring Johnson. I’d much rather see him in Philly than in Dallas next season.
Should the Eagles trade for Duke Johnson?
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