Derrick Johnson has made it clear that he has no intentions of retiring from football anytime soon. And on Friday, the proof came in a contract with the Oakland Raiders.
That takes care of his short-term plan.
As for the long-term? Chiefs coach Andy Reid envisions Johnson enjoying a future in coaching. And in a congratulatory text message this week, Reid told Johnson a spot awaits him on the Chiefs' staff.
When he’s ready.
“I told him that. If he decided he wants to go in that direction, I’m gonna be hard on him — probably harder on him than I was (when he was) a player,” Reid said. “But he can come back, yeah, absolutely.”
For now, Reid will scheme against Johnson, who will potentially face the only NFL team he’s never known twice next season.
Johnson, 35, departed the Chiefs this offseason as the franchise’s all-time leader in tackles. In his 13th and final season in Kansas City, the playing time dipped, but he still finished second on the team with 71 tackles. He joins coach Jon Gruden’s return to Oakland and fills a vacancy at middle linebacker, bent on proving there is productivity left, despite a pair of season-ending Achilles injuries on his resume.
“I think it’s great that Derrick has a chance. Derrick’s one of the most favorite players I’ve ever coached since I’ve been coaching,” Reid said. “Every day he came out like he was 20 (years old). I’ve said that before.
“The Raiders are getting a great person. I mean a phenomenal person, leader and all those things. I wish him the best. I texted him. I wish him the bet except for about two games. Other than that, I’m good.”