NFL Report: Duke Johnson gets three years from the Browns

In one fell swoop, Duke Johnson has made more money on his signing bonus than he has in his first three NFL seasons! The Browns’ offensive MVP from the infamous 0-16 season was set to play the final year of his rookie deal (a four-year, $3.1 million contract) until the Browns stepped up and handed him a $5 million signing bonus, according to Ian Rapoport.

With his three-year deal, Duke Johnson gets basically the same money that Carlos Hyde got from the Browns in free agency (Three years and $15.25 million with a $5 million signing bonus.) Johnson’s deal is comparable to the deal that Giovani Bernard is playing on in Cincinnati ($15.5 mil for three years with a $5 mil signing bonus.) Maybe most importantly, it’s better than the three-year $12 million and $4 million signing bonus that Isaiah Crowell got in free agency from the Jets.

Obviously, all NFL contracts are not created equally. The Browns’ deal with Carlos Hyde is team friendly, costing them just $2.33 million against the cap in 2019 if they cut the veteran carrier loose. No matter though. NFL players know the drill. It’s all about that guaranteed money. Until we know more about Duke Johnson’s contract, you can presume that he was happy with at least $5 million guaranteed and about $10 million in the first two years of the deal. For Johnson, it gives him enough guarantees to reward his past performance and future potential, while also building in another chance for him to sign an NFL extension at age 27 at the latest. That’s a nice balance of cashing in and still betting on yourself.

Assuming the status quo at the quarterback position, Duke Johnson could be one of Tyrod Taylor’s best friends in a Todd Haley offense. Hopefully, it works out well for both the Browns and Duke Johnson.