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. 

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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.

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