CLEVELAND — Tuesday was the first day of Browns mandatory minicamp and already there appeared to be a rift between teammates.
After skipping out on organized team activities, running back Duke Johnson showed up to practice and made it clear he wants to be traded.
“Because I was put on the trade block a month before I requested a trade... that is essentially my biggest issue,” Johnson said.
Browns quarterback and leader Baker Mayfield didn’t seem to appreciate the way Johnson is handling business matters.
“Obviously he is going to handle his stuff how he wants. But you are either on this train or you are not. It’s moving. You can either get out the way or join us,” Mayfield said.
Mayfield spoke after Johnson, which denied the running back an opportunity to respond publicly to Mayfield’s remarks. Johnson did insist that as long as he is here, he is going to come to work.
“I was here when we were 0-16. I was all in. Nothing changes now. At the end of the day I am a professional,” Johnson said.
Even so, one might think the tension and emotion in the locker room would make life as a Browns awkward but Mayfield disagrees.
“It is self-inflicted. It is what it is. It is not awkward for anybody else in this building,” Mayfield said. “He has got to do his job. He says he is a professional. I hope he does his job.”
Johnson said that he felt the organization turned its back on him. If that is true, it appears as though Mayfield followed suit.
“I am big on loyalty. I felt I have been loyal to the organization through it all and the moment I don’t have loyalty… the moment the loyalty stops, it stops on both ends. It is not a one-way street. It stops on my end on as well. Will that stop me from doing my job? Of course not,” Johnson said.