Texans Cut Duke Johnson

The Texans have released running back Duke Johnson, as Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. The move will save Houston roughly $5.025MM in cap room for the coming year. 

[RELATED: JJ Watt Received Offer Worth $15MM-$16MM?]

The Texans traded for Johnson in 2019, sending a conditional draft pick to Cleveland in exchange for the veteran tailback. With more than ten games on the active roster that year, the conditional fourth-rounder turned into a third-round pick.

All in all, Johnson rushed for 645 yards and three TDs on the ground. He also hauled in 72 catches for 659 yards by air, and four receiving TDs, showcasing the soft hands that made him a notable name in Cleveland. This past year, he wasn’t quite as efficient in the rushing game, however. His yards-per-tote average of 3.1 yards per carry didn’t move the needle much and he was hampered by injuries, including an ankle sprain. Meanwhile, new addition David Johnson managed 4.7 yards per run, plus 33 grabs for 314 yards.

Johnson (Duke, that is) won’t turn 28 until September. He shouldn’t have difficulty finding a new job, though he may have to settle for less than his previous three-year, $15.61MM deal given the current climate.

For what it’s worth, David Johnson isn’t guaranteed to stick around either. Even though he enjoyed a bounce back year, he’s set to earn nearly $8MM in base salary this year with just $2.1MM locked in. The rebuilding Texans may choose to move on from him, especially if Deshaun Watson gets his trade request fulfilled.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

View Comments (14)
newest oldest

14 comments on “Texans Cut Duke Johnson

  1. If they trade Watson, they might as well just tear the whole house down to the studs and start fresh. Bill O’Brien really destroyed what was a very promising team in a rather short time with his unprecedented series of incompetent decisions. It’s going to take a while to recover from the damage he caused

    • CamFrost

      BOB deserves criticism, but there are still a couple people in the building that have their hands in a lot of that.

    • CoachWe

      He will get traded IMHO, but it won’t be until the summer,… I think. When teams signed those huge contracts they expected 2021 Cap to exceed 220 mil. 183 mill is a steep drop off.

    • MileHighFan

      Bill O’Brien wasn’t the problem. The problem was identified by Watt, i.e., players who weren’t working as hard as they should have been. No one wants to identify the true culprit(s) in the media, but team actions since last year are giving an indication as to which players were to blame.

    • myaccount

      Sounds like Easterby forced BOB’s hand a lot. The front office incompetence has made me question how much of the final decision BOB actually had.

  2. bestno5

    They probably could have traded him for a conditional pick….they need all the picks they can get

  3. CamFrost

    Totally worth that 3rd rounder you gave up a year ago and hardly utilized him.

  4. Where are the Watson bashers on this move? Management signed a contract with Duke Johnson, why aren’t they honoring it?!?!!!?!

    • rocky7

      Ridiculous comment! Here’s Duke’s 3 year deal.
      CONTRACT:3 yr(s) / $15,610,000 SIGNING BONUS$3,000,000 AVERAGE SALARY$5,203,333 GTD AT SIGN:$5,957,000 TOTAL GTD:$7,757,000 FREE AGENT:2022 / UFA
      Seems that based on his previous contract, he did pretty well ($7757,000 guaranteed) even with getting let go which is the teams prerogative when the player’s performance (whether due to injury or whatever) doesn’t support the contracts balance.
      This is the way business is done today in the NFL! Players asked for large guaranteed money at signing, sign for multi years that are not guaranteed and then usually don’t see the end of that deal due to a drop off in performance…..and are cut!
      ]Watson’s situation is totally different and can’t be compared to Duke Johnson!

      • blah blah blah. Management signed the contract. They’re not honoring it. The Watson haters insult him for not honoring his contract yet are SILENT when management voids contracts like this on a whim.

        • CoachWe

          Your way off base. The collective bargaining was an agreement by owners & NFLPA that said teams can void contracts (non guaranteed) in exchange for huge signing bonuses. Then, owners started to guarantee certain portions of high profile players as an extra incentive. It is understood by both sides that due to injuries, shortened careers and risk, owners are granted the right to void contracts. Players know this and take the signing bonus system willingly.

  5. CoachWe

    Highly paid RB’s will start getting released all around the league. With shrinking Cap, franchises are freaking out.

  6. MileHighFan

    Every team in the league has one goal and it isn’t the Super Bowl. Their true goal is to make the most money possible.

    If the league salary cap gets lowered that means revenues are down, and thus two things must happen: Free agents will be offered smaller contracts, and existing players with salaries higher than the mandated minimum will either get released or have their contracts re-structured.

Leave a Reply