Bucs Among Teams Interested In Duke Johnson

March 9th, 2019

There’s no spring break snoozing at JoeBucsFan.com world headquarters. Joe has been very busy cobbling together information pulsating through the bowels of One Buc Palace.

One thing Joe learned this week is Bucco Bruce Arians wants a dynamic third-down back. Yes, Arians and company believe Peyton Barber is a bellcow, three-down-caliber back; they love the guy. But Arians wants more than Barber on third down. And it ain’t Ronald Jones.

The buzz in Cleveland is that 25-year-old Duke Johnson is drawing trade interest as the Browns prepare for life with a scary two-headed monster at running back, Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt.

Joe has learned the Bucs are one of the teams with Johnson on their radar.

Johnson has 235 catches in his four seasons with an impressive average of 9.2 yards per reception. But he’s been progressively buried as a running back. Per NFL.com, after new Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens took over the offense last season, Johnson never topped more than four carries in a game.

A Browns third-round pick in 2015, Johnson got a contract extension before last season under the intelligent Cleveland regime of general manager John Dorsey. Johnson, who’s known for pass blocking, making tacklers miss and lining up in various receiver positions, is signed through 2021 and would earn $2.3 million this season.

60 Responses to “Bucs Among Teams Interested In Duke Johnson”

  1. Tvan1011 Says:

    Please get Duke, with barber that is the one two punch we need.

  2. BucEmUp 7 Says:

    I like Duke and would like this signing. I actually think he woukd beat out Barber eventually only if he can improve his pass protection. Barber is just like humph a hard grinder but johnson has a little more burst and better hands. Gotta be able to pickup pressure though. Im not worried abouy the running game too much though. Teams with defenses like ours usually have problems running the ball always playing from behind. Now that they FINALLY have a real coach on that side of the ball the game balance wont have to be forced into the gameplan. Finally….

  3. Bird Says:

    I would be down with that.

    And you could cross running back off draft. At least for this year

  4. First Down Tampa Bay Says:

    Wait he can pass block?

    Dirk Koetter is on the phone.

  5. Alaskan Abdominal Snowman Says:

    This would be a good move. What would we have to give up is the question. A 5th or 6th? That would be well worth it.

  6. Kobe Faker Says:

    “BA knows something he aint telling the buc sheep but he has told Kobe

    BA knows the defense sucks….

    Only way to win and protect the defense is…

    Blowout the opponents defense and pedal to the metal and make them chase

    we will be top scoring team and our opponents will be playing from behind and become 1 dimensional…KC of the NFC

    BA needs a pass catching David johnson to score 40 pts

    Duke Johnson or Miles sanders in the draft

    trade djax and 4th round pick for duke”

    Kobe Faker

  7. JimmyJack Says:

    The problem is that the Browns aren’t trading him. At least not now with Kareem Hunt in suspension limbo.

    The biggest thing I take from this story is that the Bucs are looking for a third down back. RB is actually one of the strong positions in Free Agency so that’s good for us.

  8. Ndog Says:

    This guy was always hurt at Miami it’s just a matter of time before he gets hurt and starts missing time. We don’t need it to be with us.

  9. JimmyJack Says:

    But he hasn’t missed a game his entire career? Probably if you treat him like Cleveland did and don’t ask his to handle 20 carries per game he’ll be just fine.

  10. Waterboy Says:

    He’s a pretty quick little fella but I wouldn’t give up anything in a trade for him.

  11. tbbucs3 Says:


  12. PriMech54 Says:

    I believe this would be a mistake. Duke is a nice player but you shouldn’t be giving up draft capital with so many holes still in the roster and so many free agent backs available. If you’re looking for hands, try Tevin Coleman or TJ yeldon.

    Also, I know people want to convince themselves that every running back on the roster sucks or is a straight bust, but I guarantee you Arians knows he can get every last drop of talent out of them. He’s commented on it constantly. That’s the difference between having a real NFL caliber head coach and a Derp Cutter who couldn’t adjust himself out of a paper bag.

  13. BucGator Says:

    Yes please!!!

  14. SB Says:

    We could have had Chubb instead of ROJO
    This conversation wouldn’t even be a moot point. Hindsight 20/15 and all that.

  15. JP_09 Says:

    I’d like to see us take LJ Scott in the 5th

  16. Not there yet Says:

    Bucs among teams interested in duke Johnson meaning bidding war? I wish I knew the plan already. Licht could have traded for this guy last year.

  17. JimmyJack Says:

    Not there yet. Just read the story attached to the article. The Browns aren’t even trading him right now. I didn’t know that Duke was on the trading block like you said but he’s not on it now. That could change after the Hunt suspension.

  18. Jimbo Says:

    “Pulsating through the bowels.” Really? Kind of explains the oft-used six-letter description of the team.

  19. Alstott up the gut Says:

    Oh look, another player running awa from Kwon!

  20. stpetebucsfan Says:


    Not sure how we could have had Chubb since he was selected 35th and ROJO was picked at 38? Are you suggesting we should have traded up?

  21. Oneilbucs Says:

    Man just draft a running back please with size and speed.

  22. Stu Says:

    Pass blocking…that’s a novel idea.

  23. Figures Says:

    I find it hilarious that a 5-11 team is so up against the cap.
    They better start releasing people soon if they want to get anything of value in free agency.

    Stupid as s organization

  24. THETRUTH Says:


    Check your stats before comment about injury. He had only one season he missed games and still got tons of yards in those 8 games.

    This guy has break away speed and can catch , go get him !!

  25. BucEmUp 7 Says:

    Trade Brate for Duke

  26. bucs4ya Says:

    That picture shows one of Kwon’s biggest problems. Reaching instead of tackling with his pads. I hope they don’t sign him to a big deal coming off injury. But I forget I love the Bucs so that’s exactly what they’ll do.

  27. cmurda Says:

    I’ve been clamoring for Duke since the Browns signed Hunt. It’s a logical move for B.A’s offense. We’d be foolish not to get in the running. I’m hoping that he could be had for a 4th or 5th round pick

  28. Defense Rules Says:

    ‘By George I think you’ve got it’ Joe. After all of these daily ‘We’ve got to get this one’ and ‘We simply must have this guy’ i do believe that you’ve found the mother lode. Since he’s signed through 2021, key for us is to get him via a trade with Cleveland RIGHT NOW, before other teams set their clocks ahead & figure out what a deal Duke Johnson is at that salary. I’d gladly give up a 4th Rnd pick to bring him onboard (we’d be drafting a RB anyways in the 3rd or 4th Rnd most likely and we can afford $2.1 mil for a starting-caliber RB).

  29. Rod Munch Says:

    I never saw much of a difference between him and Sims, except Sims might be a bit better catcher while Duke is probably slightly more exclusive. Personally I’d just resign Sims for nothing and call it a day, but if you can get Duke for cheap, very cheap, then I wouldn’t be against it.

  30. Rod Munch Says:

    cmurda – I’d be shocked if anyone gave up anything more than a 6th. Nothing against Duke but running backs are ultra cheap and really hold very little value if they have any mileage on them. I personally don’t get why teams throw away runningbacks so quickly, and won’t just pay a small price for a proven one, but that’s how it goes, year in and year out.

  31. BucHead5588 Says:

    Duke is a Beast he can teach RoJo the ropes

  32. tbbucs3 Says:

    Defense Rules

    I simply just cannot agree that safety is the #3 priority on your list. Maybe it comes down to philosophy in defending the pass game whether you value saftey or corner more (again, both very important) but the theme with good pass defenses around the league is that they all have ball hawk safeties on the team.

    Theres a reason Bill Belichick can have interchangeable cornerbacks every year because they are plug and play in his defense while his two safeties are always constant in Mccourtney and Chung.

    And where is this Jordan Whitehead hype coming from? I havent noticed anything special about the guy other than the fact that he can hit hard. Deshaun Golson also hit hard. Im not even sold on Justin Evans, he just seems average to me.

  33. cmurda Says:

    @Rod. No way man. Duke is better than you think. Just simply look at his stats. I’m not going to pretend that I watch Browns games but I’ve seen a little of him. He’s a slippery, quick little fella. His stats may surprise you. Let’s be honest. Any pick after round 3 is a dart throw. I’d happily give up a 4th or 5th rd for Duke instead of a maybe. Duke comes pretty cheap and you know what you’re getting. 5 yards per carry last year with super light tread on the tires. He has been underutilized for years. He should be in a time split with Peyton. We can have Duke and Peyton as a 1-2 punch and hopefully ROJO could emerge as a 3rd down back.

  34. StoutGospel Says:


    I was with you for a little while, hearing you out on LJ Scott, then saw just how much, much slower he ran through drills, his 40 time versus the other backs, and the 2 extensive workups at length in my 2 different draft magazine workups. LJ Scott is just too plodding, slow feet at 4.63 40 yard dash and cone drills, slow quads, little too heavy at 225, being that he naturally has slower quads and feet.

    Neah. Sounded good for a while though.

    AND..Browns won’t trade Duke, while Hunt is still suspended, that would be retarded, and Dorsey is smart.

    Go Bucs! Get Quinnen!

  35. Jeagan1999 Says:

    I mentioned this guy a few days ago. Get him and Ryan Nall from the Bears practice squad and our problems at RB are gone!

    Then spend the Draft picking OL and DL.

  36. RayBucs Says:

    Desean Jackson for Duke Johnson?

  37. RODNEY J ALLEN Says:

    Kobe I agree DJax for Duke but not a 4th maybe a 5th. Could even be an even trade they need a receiver (we have plenty) we need a rb (they have plenty)

  38. JP_09 Says:

    @ Stout I respect your opinion, just wondering where you got his 40 time from. Scott didn’t run the 40 at the combine I don’t believe. That’s not a big deal though, not really a fan of the combine, when the last time you saw a player line up in a sprinter stance on Sunday without pads on? My take on Scott kinda goes back to my take on the punter, I’d rather have a dude who can consistently get you 4-5 yards than one who averages 2.5 yards but may break two 50 yarders during the season. And Scott may not be that dude, but from whatchig his games, I saw he can break tackles, has great vision, can catch and not to mention his QB (Lewerke) is absolutely trash, I may be wrong but from what I’ve seen he’d be worth a 5th. I also like Chris Carson so who knows

  39. Stanglassman Says:

    Jeagon- You sent me down the Ryan Noll rabbit hole. You maybe on to something, how did the Wrecking Noll go undrafted!?

  40. Stanglassman Says:

    Duke Johnson is totally underrated. The Bucs should definitely make a trade if he really is available.

  41. Kyle Says:

    love the joebucsfan sheep..every post about a potential player and all of you experts are drooling and begging as if you have some nfl knowledge..i love the articles but have started to move on and not read the posts..i dont know anything and appreciate joe for the insight, but all you fantasy football buc fans take it easy and let the process play out.

  42. Joe Says:

    Desean Jackson for Duke Johnson?


  43. Jean Lafitte Says:

    I’m good with that

  44. Bad Influence Says:

    Joe, why never any mention of Latavius Murray? Big and productive RB with a connection to Florida.

  45. Defense Rules Says:

    tbbucs3 … Right now we have NO MLB so that surely must be a higher priority than Safety (of which we have several). Right now we have no experienced CB to start opposite Carlton Davis. If we go into the season with no replacement for Grimes other than what we have on our current roster, that seems like a prescription for more of the same at CB. We’ll see how it plays out.

  46. StoutGospel Says:

    Besides if we’re gonna deal down on this RB level, would make more sense just to sign Crowell in FA than give up any draft pick compensation for Johnson, who makes more already anyway. Chiefs just gave Carlos Hyde 1 year $3 million. There’s the framework. Crowell hits the whoe hard, good hands in passing game, and pretty darn healthy/reliable playing almost every game thus far.

    Makes more sense.

    Go Bucs! Get Quinnen!

  47. StoutGospel Says:


    My Lindy’s Draft Journal along with two others I use every year has 40 times obtained within past collegiate year on over 330+ draft eligible players. Not Combine.

    Compared to all the other RB class, Scott just ain’t worth it. But you can have your take that he is. No biggie.

    Go Bucs! Get Quinnen!

  48. Wausa Says:

    Patriots are desperate for a TE. I really like Cameron on the Bucs, but if the Bucs could get some strong draft capital for him they would need to listen.

  49. Jeagan1999 Says:

    Stanglassman….my friends at Nike up in Oregon turned me on to Ryan Nall a couple years ago. I also can’t understand why no one drafted him! He’s 6”3’ and 230lbs…built like Alstott, but runs like Todd Gurly. Great receiver out of the backfield too. The Bears have such depth at the position, they stashed him on their practice squad and he didn’t play at all last year.

    Since he’s a practice squad player, we could sign him without having to give up anything in compensation. Now add Duke Johnson, and we already have Barber who is decent, and suddenly we would have a formidable stable of backs!

  50. StoutGospel Says:

    Or really Mike Davis. Think we need to explore how his strength, hard running style, quick feet through the whole, good pass-catching prowess, and most importantly, he honed his craft with the most potent and conscientious running game team in the NFL in the Seahawks. Age 26. Good durability.

    He would be a wise addition. I would take him over Barber for sure.

    Go Bucs! Land Quinnen!

  51. cgmaster Says:

    why trade for him when you have a guy like Carlos Hyde as a free agent right now? Why give up picks? That makes no sense at all and Carlos is a 3 down back, while Duke is a specialist back.

  52. Jeagan1999 Says:

    Cgmaster….I think Hyde already signed with another team….KC I believe.

  53. JP_09 Says:

    @ Stout, thanks for the info and I’m with you on the GET QUINNEN

  54. Stanglassman Says:

    Stout- I totally forgot about Lindy’s. I use to go downtown and get mine from the newspaper store. He got it in first and he would call my house when it arrived. I’d get that and the sporting news draft addition since the early 80s. BTW I’m with you on Mike Davis, another underrated back.

    Jeagon- I’m definitely on the Noll train. I can’t wait til preseason to watch Chi Rb Ryan Noll play. I hope he doesn’t do too good though. Bucs fans would love that guy.

  55. StoutGospel Says:

    Yeah Lindy’s does a nice job. Athlon Sports’ version is fair.

    Go Bucs! Land Quinnen!

  56. Gary Says:

    Le’Veon Bell!!!

  57. Joeypoppems Says:

    I would love this move. Duke is underrated. He is more than a pass catching specialist and BA’s offense could do wonders for him.

  58. rrsrq Says:

    Duke will be a Brown unless the Browns get a a can’t refuse offer, Kareem Hunt may not even play in 2019. But I would love it DJ Duke Johnson not Desean Jackson was wearing Pewter next year, we have been missing some U attitude on this team or some time

  59. Chacho Bucco Says:

    There’s no chance the Bucs can get Paris Campbell for a fourth round pick to play running back. I thoroughly like the idea but it seems like a longshot. There is the slightest possibility and if it does happen the need for a power RB is next on the list

  60. Kyle Says:

    @ stout and stanglass, cant wait to see BA hire you on the scouting department..DB’S