Duke Johnson had all the potential in the world

Duke Johnson has retired from the NFL and his run should've been so much better
Houston Texans v Tennessee Titans
Houston Texans v Tennessee Titans / Frederick Breedon/GettyImages

Duke Johnson will go down as one of the most disappointing players across two different franchises. Filled with a bundle of talent, Johnson was never able to develop a consistent enough game with either the Cleveland Browns or Houston Texans to warrant keeping him and for some reason, he just rubbed guys the wrong way. In Cleveland, he demanded a trade, prompting then-quarterback Baker Mayfield to rip him apart in an interview.

Clearly, Johnson wasn't going to be around for long and he wasn't, getting traded to the Texans just before the start of the 2019 season. He got traded for a conditional fourth-round pick that turned into a third-round pick due to him playing 10 or more games for the Texans in his first season with the team. And it was a good first season.

See, in Cleveland, he showed a really good ability to both run and catch the ball, resulting in him having over 1,000 combined years in 2017. He had 348 rushing yards, and 693 receiving yards. The perfect type of second running back you'd want in the modern NFL. Very closely resembling the skillsets of Christian McCaffery and Saquon Barkley.

Yet, in 2018, he struggled to have the same production as Mayfield took over the team as a rookie, and Johnson got pushed into the background by Nick Chubb. Johnson wanted out and he got it. His first year in Houston was pretty good, rushing for a career-high 410 yards, and pulling in 410 yards receiving, resulting in his fourth-best total yards for a season.

He had set an expectation, an expectation he wasn't able to follow-up on, as nagging injuries derailed his second year with the Texans. Soon he was off to the Jackson Jaguars as a free agent but he only managed to land on their practice squad to start. He'd later land with the Miami Dolphins, where he'd eventually be called up from their practice squad, playing in five games.

His last stop was in Buffalo with the Bills before his phone stopped ringing entirely.

At his peak, he was a near 5.0 yard per carry back, who could hurt defenses by either carrying the ball or catching it and despite that unique skillset, few NFL teams knew how to properly utilize him. With him announcing his retirement, we're reminded of what kind of impact he could've made had he been with a better coach and had been healthy enough to show some consistency.