Duke Johnson’s trade request has yet to be granted by the Browns, but not everything remains status quo with the versatile veteran running back.
Johnson is in the market for new representation after splitting from agent Kristin Campbell.
On Tuesday, Campbell confirmed for the Beacon Journal/Ohio.com Johnson decided to part ways from her agency, 40 Sports & Entertainment Group. NFL Network first reported the development.
Campbell did not elaborate on Johnson’s decision, but this offseason clearly has not unfolded the way the player had hoped it would.
Browns general manager John Dorsey signed running back Kareem Hunt on Feb. 11. Later the same day, Dorsey said Johnson hadn’t become expendable “yet.”
Campbell asked the front office in March to trade Johnson. Then Johnson skipped the team’s entire voluntary offseason workout program, which began April 1, and didn’t report to Browns headquarters until early June when players showed up for their three-day mandatory minicamp.
During the first media availability of minicamp on June 4, Johnson insisted he still wanted to be traded and nothing would change his mind. Johnson also explained he felt the Browns had been disloyal by placing him on the trading block a month before Campbell asked them to deal him.
“I only want to be somewhere I’m wanted,” Johnson, who signed a three-year, $15.6 million contract extension with the Dorsey-led Browns about a year ago, said June 4. “At the end of the day, that’s all this is about, being somewhere you’re wanted. In my case, the moment I’m not wanted anymore, I think it’s best that we find a middle ground and we do what’s best for the team. If you don’t want me here, there’s no need to keep me or force me to be here.”
Quarterback Baker Mayfield didn’t appreciate Johnson’s approach and sounded off.
“That’s something that we’ve been dealing with for a while,” Mayfield said June 4. “If we have guys that want to be here, they’ll show that, they’ll voice that. Obviously, he’s going to handle his stuff how he wants, but you’re either on this train or you’re not. It’s moving. You can get out of the way or you can join us. So it is what it is.”
Mayfield even disagreed with a reporter who asked about Johnson being in an awkward spot.
“It’s not awkward,” Mayfield said. “It’s self-inflicted. It is what it is. It’s not awkward for anybody else in this building.
“He’s got to do his job. He said he’s a professional. I hope he does his job.”
Then Campbell’s husband, rapper Luther Campbell, blasted Mayfield via Twitter.
“F- — @bakermayfield for saying that dumb s- — about Duke Johnson,” Luther Campbell tweeted June 5. “I guarantee you you be the one to divide this locker room up. You are not in Texas at Cracker Barrel.”
“Hey @bakermayfield this will be my last tweet to you,” Luther Campbell added June 7. “Brett Favre traded Joe Montana (traded). Peyton Manning traded. Drew Brees traded. Dan Marino told to go home. Don’t ever turn on your teammates for management. You are not exempt.”
In the meantime, Dorsey has made it clear he’s not in any rush to trade Johnson, even though the Browns added Hunt and running back Nick Chubb is coming off an impressive rookie season.