In well-timed fashion (after a loss), the Kansas City Chiefs and OLB Derrick Johnson have, according to his agents, agreed to a 5 year contract extension worth $34 million dollars, with $15 million of that guaranteed. This is quite a leap of confidence and status for a player that probably would have been let go at the end of last season or given a much different deal had this been a normal year in terms of having a collective bargaining agreement.
The pride of the 2005 NFL Draft (Craphonso Thorpe, anyone?) impressed in the 4-3, then got lost in the fray of the 3-4 transition and finally prevailed this season as a solid inside linebacker. He leads the team with 65 tackles and, although he has a single interception for a touchdown, he could have potentially racked up a lot more. Many of the six pass knockdowns he’s recorded thus far were dropped interceptions.
Derrick Johnson is the first of many players that will get their second contract from the Chiefs. The amount of years in the contract is a surprise to me. Not so much because he hasn’t proven himself but that the new regime hasn’t seen all that much of him. These are the same guys that allowed his playing time to be limited last season in what was clearly the wrong move. If you heard Todd Haley speak at all last year, they definitely weren’t hiding him as much as they buried him.
However, with the season the Chiefs are having right now, it is easy to forget the wayward decisions of more dismal times. For better or worse, the Chiefs have locked down a player that has made a difference in this now-great defense. Soon, Scott Pioli and the Chiefs will ponder the resigning of many other Chiefs nearing the ends of their contracts. For now, the Chiefs organization is doing what good organizations do: they lock down their players that they drafted and developed.
Here’s what the Twitterverse has to say: