Kansas City Chiefs: Don’t be mad at Derrick Johnson

(Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images)
(Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images) /

Kansas City Chiefs fans are full of angst after Derrick Johnson signed with the Oakland Raiders. Fans should not be upset with Johnson at all.

Kansas City Chiefs fans know the hurtful feeling all too well of longtime fan favorites signing with a division rival. It happened in the 1990s with Neil Smith, who wound up in Denver and won two Super Bowls with them. Not long after, Rich Gannon took his talents to Oakland and made it to a Super Bowl, but didn’t win it.

This time around, it’s longtime Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson who is causing a stir amongst Chiefs Kingdom. Adam Schefter broke the news on Thursday that Johnson was visiting the Raiders and on Friday, he signed with the black and silver.

I get the reason why Chiefs fans are upset, but this is a similar situation that fans faced with Jamaal Charles last year. In case you don’t remember, Charles was cut by the Chiefs and then went on to sign with the Broncos.

Charles’ situation, however, was a tad bit different in the fact that he said the whole “I’ve always wanted to be a Bronco” crap. Had he not done that, I don’t think Chiefs fans would have been as angry.

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We all saw how ineffective Charles was in Denver last year and it honestly could be the same story for Johnson as a Raider this season. It wasn’t easy seeing Charles donning orange and blue, but at the end of the day, he was cut from the Chiefs for a reason. His replacement, Kareem Hunt, was ready to roll and he was missing a lot of games due to injury.

Johnson falls into the same category. While he still had some hard hits last season, he looked a lot slower and wasn’t the playmaker he once was on defense. The Chiefs saw a lot of production out of Reggie Ragland and he looked to be the answer at inside linebacker moving forward. For all of those reasons listed, Johnson was released by the Chiefs.

No other teams were interested in Johnson (at least not that we know of as of now), so he signed with the first team that brought him in, which was Oakland. Who could blame him for that? People who are mad about him signing with a rival need to understand that Johnson still wants to play football and he’s signing with the only team that offered him an opportunity to continue his career.

Does it sting knowing that Derrick Johnson, a man who spent 13 years as a member of the Kansas City Chiefs and will be in the Ring of Honor someday, is now going to be playing for the despised Oakland Raiders? Yes, absolutely. That doesn’t mean that we can’t be happy for Johnson and continue to root for his success. It also doesn’t mean we boo him when he comes back to Arrowhead.

As long as Johnson doesn’t have a big time tackle or sack against the Chiefs this season, more power to him and best of luck to the former first rounder. Go Chiefs!