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Freddie Kitchens: Duke Johnson asking for a trade doesn’t matter to me

Cleveland Browns v Baltimore Ravens

BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 17: Running back Duke Johnson #29 of the Cleveland Browns runs towards the end zone as free safety Eric Weddle #32 of the Baltimore Ravens tackles him in the four quarter at M&T Bank Stadium on September 17, 2017 in Baltimore, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr /Getty Images)

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After Browns running back Duke Johnson asked to be traded, Browns General Manager John Dorsey channeled Tommy Lee Jones and essentially said, I don’t care. Browns coach Freddie Kitchens feels the same way.

“At this point in time, him asking for a trade doesn’t matter to me,” Kitchens said, via ESPN. “He’s a Cleveland Brown. Duke’s the type of the guy who’s going to show up and he’s going to do his job and he’s going do his job well. That’s all I can ask for as a coach. His demands, I’m not impacted by that one bit.”

Kitchens insisted that Johnson will be on the roster in 2019.

“Duke’s under contract,” Kitchens said. “I’ve said this for a month now, I don’t know where all this trade talk started happening. People just assumed we would trade him because we signed another good football player [Kareem Hunt]. I like good football players, and I like as many as I can get. It’s our job to get him the ball and enable him in whatever role that is. Duke Johnson is on this football team and will have a vital role on this team and will help us win football games. Am I surprised he’s still here? No, not one bit. I have never said anything different than that.”

Johnson played all 16 games last year but had a diminished role in the offense, finishing the season with career-lows in carries, rushing yards, catches and receiving yards. Heading into his fifth season, Johnson seems like a player the Browns could easily decide to move on from, but Kitchens and Dorsey have both indicated that won’t happen any time soon.