Derrick Johnson Still Wants to Prove Himself

Kansas City Chiefs

Derrick Johnson Out to Prove He Can Still Play Well

Linebacker Derrick Johnson has been in the NFL for quite some time, fourteen years to be exact, as a member of the Kansas City Chiefs.

This upcoming year, however, Johnson will be donning silver and black as he's now a member of the divisional rival Oakland Raiders after having been signed by them this offseason. Many Raiders fans had already speculated that the team would re-sign linebacker NaVorro Bowman back to the team but the team decided to do something else and pick up Johnson.

The issue here lies in the fact that Johnson is older and is a four-time Pro Bowler, but has seen a decline in his quality of gameplay over the last couple of seasons, with 2015 being the last time he was nominated to the Pro Bowl. But even with that in mind, Chiefs coach Andy Reid feels that Johnson still has some gas left in the tank and will show his true quality in 2018.

Johnson spent the first thirteen years of his NFL career with the Chiefs, playing in 182 career games and was widely known for his presence in the middle of the field. He stands as the all-time leading tackler for the Chiefs and while remaining within the AFC West division, has all of the experience and knowledge needed to continue being a solid defensive leader on the team. But like many other players before him, the Chiefs believed resigning him to the team at his age would be too expensive after his contract expired, though his deal for the Raiders for 2018 was worth $3 million.

Even for being an older player, Johnson apparently caught the attention of the Raiders, impressing them with his play. When asked by head coach Jon Gruden about why he still wanted to play, Johnson simply responded that he still had the fire burning within and wanted to prove to everyone that he could still play at a high level.