When Derrick Johnson became a free agent in February, the Chiefs linebacker and the team couldn’t have been more effusive in their praise of one another.
“Few players in recent history have meant more to the Chiefs franchise and the Kansas City community than Derrick Johnson,” Chiefs chairman and CEO Clark Hunt said.
“I’ve been blessed to be part of the Kansas City Chiefs organization my entire career,” Johnson said.
But Johnson also said this in his statement that day: “I plan on playing for several more years because I love this game so much.”
Funny how the football business works; Johnson has signed with the Oakland Raiders. The agreement comes a day after Johnson visited Oakland, and was first reported by Mike Silver of NFL.com.
No riding quietly into the sunset for the 35-year-old Johnson, who in his 13 seasons became the Chiefs' career leader in tackles. He finished second on the club in that department last season, with 71.
The Raiders and new head coach Jon Gruden will look at Johnson as a middle linebacker option, perhaps replacing NaVorro Bowman.
Johnson could join the handful of players who have suited up for both sides of one of the NFL’s top rivalries — guys like running back Marcus Allen, quarterback Rich Gannon and cornerback Albert Lewis.
The news comes a week after the Chiefs drafted Tennessee lineman Kahlil McKenzie, son of Raiders’ general manager Reggie McKenzie, in the sixth round of the NFL Draft.
- The trade earlier in the week that sent Chiefs linebacker Dadi Nicholas to the Cleveland Browns for tight end Randall Telfer was called off Friday. Both players have been waived by their original teams, according to the NFL transaction wire. No reason was given. They are now free agents.