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Chiefs GM: No Conversations About Trading Derrick Johnson

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Kansas City Chiefs GM Scott Pioli appeared on 610 Sports' Morning Rush with Roger Twibell today.  A few topics were covered, and we'll get to those in a later posting, but one thing he said caught my eye.

Twibell asked a question that I think many of us would ask if given the opportunity (and I'm paraphrasing the question): With Demorrio Williams' increase in playing time, does that give the Chiefs an opportunity to trade Derrick Johnson?

"I don't know because I haven't had any conversations like that with anyone and no one has approached me on that," Pioli said.

Do we take him at his word?  Because ultimately trades in the NFL come down to leverage in terms of maximizing compensation and Pioli would lose a whole lot if he came out and said, 'Yes, we're looking to trade Derrick Johnson.'  

It's not out of the realm of possibility for a team official to stretch the truth in order to maintain a competitive advantage, which Todd Haley did at one point when asked if the offense had been changed. And that's okay.  That's what they're supposed to do.

"This is a good question," Pioli continued, "in the sense that there's been other players and other situations in the past where people say, 'Why didn't they trade for this player or why didn't they trade this player away?'"

What Pioli had to say next is the kicker: "Trades, or the opportunities for trades, have to involve two people."

The man makes a point.  More from Pioli on DJ after the jump.

The Chiefs GM did not call out DJ as a reason for his decreased playing time, instead pointing to the play of Demorrio Williams, as coach Haley did yesterday.

"I think the situation with Derrick is more about Demorrio Williams than it is about Derrick," he said, "and I think Todd said that yesterday."

He then went on to point out a reality in the NFL: If you miss time due to injury, then there's somebody right behind trying to take advantage of that (Unless you're Marty Schottenheimer in January of 1998 and insert Elvis Grbac coming off of injury into the game instead of Rich Gannon, who outplayed him during a six game stretch but that's for another day).

"During the preseason, Derrick unfortunately had an injury that kept him out of a full game and limited him somewhat even when he came back," he said.  "He gets injured in the Oakland game, and misses the Philadelphia game, and what happens in situations like that, when something happens to a player, is that creates opportunities for another player."

He did go on to say that prior to DJ's injury setbacks, that none of the linebackers "had made it crystal clear who the starter was going to be or the player who was going to be forcing or demanding paying time."

"One player's misfortune is another player's misfortune or opportunity and Demorrio has played pretty well so I wouldn't read too much into what the situation is with Derrick.  It's more about Demorrio Williams being given an opportunity, and Corey Mays an opportunity, and those two players playing well."