What to do with a disgruntled NFL player?

Lisa Johnson
Senior NFL Reporter

By Lisa Johnson //@LJ1303

With the dog days of summer upon us, and very little news coming out of the NFL, there is one story I’ve been following. Running back Duke Johnson wants out of Cleveland.

During the off-season, Johnson asked the Cleveland Browns to trade him. He was feeling like the Browns just didn’t want him anymore. Hearing that the Browns had put Johnson on the trading block before the running back had even asked about a trade was sort of a hint. Johnson has become so adamant about wanting out of Cleveland that he fired his agent Kristin Campbell and hired Super-agent Drew Rosenhaus.

Which brings me to the point of this article.  We all have had players on our teams that get upset or disgruntled at one point or another.  It could be over money, or in Johnson’s case, just wanting playing time and the feeling of being wanted. As fans, we pay to see players and teams play to their best abilities.

My question is this. Say the Browns say no to trading Johnson.  He’s under contract and that’s it. Johnson has already made it clear that he’s still going to be a professional about everything, and that as long as he is a member of the Browns, he is going to give it his all. But honestly, will he??

In speaking with some Browns fans, I asked if they would be worried that he wouldn’t give his full effort.  Browns Daily Mock Draft (@BrownsMockDraft) answered it this way, “Fair question. He’s been underused and presumably unhappy with his role for a few seasons now. Seems like the kind of guy who can put it aside on the field, but you never know.”

So as of right now, it would seem that it’s pretty much a foregone conclusion that Johnson will be moved.  So do you move him before training camp?? Most Browns fans said they would wait and see if injuries happen elsewhere.  Browns Daily Mock Draft felt that “If it’s inevitable, that 3rd/4th week of preseason seems to be one option that makes sense. Also, note that we all agree that there is always stuff going on in the front offices that we don’t ever hear about.  And if this ‘Hold Onto To Him ’till Mid Preseason’ theory works out, don’t expect to see him play in any games pre-season games then. Can’t risk injury at that point.

I can certainly tell you, as a fan, if he is that disgruntled and wants out (and at this point, his actions have shown that he does), I would have to ask “what can we get for him??”

And for a team that is seemly heading in the right direction, if I were the GM, I would want to get the best value at this point.  Not sure I would like to take this into training camp, and now that super-agent Drew Rosenhaus is on board, I would expect this to get done sooner than later.

Talk disgruntled players and then some with Lisa on Twitter @LJ1303

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