Panthers Working Out Four Running Backs

According to Adam Schefter, the Panthers are bringing in RB Duke Johnson for a workout on Friday. 

Carolina is also bringing in RBs Ito Smith, Dontrell Hilliard, and B.J. Emmons got tryouts, according to Field Yates

This comes after RB Christian McCaffrey being expected to miss the next few weeks with a strained hamstring. 

Johnson, 27, is a former third-round pick of the Browns back in 2015. He was in the final year of his four-year, $3.105 million contract when he agreed to a three-year, $15.6 million extension for the 2018 season through 2021. 

Cleveland traded him to the Texans in August of 2019 in exchange for a conditional 2020 third-round pick. 

Johnson was set to make a base salary of $4.65 million in the final year of his agreement when the Texans cut him earlier this year. The Jaguars signed him to their practice squad earlier this month but released him after a week. 

In 2020, Johnson appeared in 11 games and recorded 77 rushing attempts for 235 yards (3.1 YPC), and one touchdown, to go along with 28 receptions for 249 yards receiving (8.9 YPC), one touchdown, three fumbles, and two fumbles lost. 

Smith, 25, was selected in the fourth round of the 2018 NFL Draft by the Falcons. He was entering the final year of a four-year, $3,080,872 rookie contract when the Falcons released him back in April 2021.

Smith signed on with the Cardinals back in August but was released over a week later. He quickly caught on with the Vikings but was among their final roster cuts coming out of the preseason. 

In 2020, Smith appeared in 14 games for the Falcons and recorded 63 rushing attempts for 268 yards (4.3 YPC) and one touchdown, to go along with 17 receptions for 75 yards receiving (5.4 YPC) and no touchdowns. 

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