You and I both watch the Kansas City Chiefs games so we know that Derrick Johnson is having a good season. But what I don't know is how he compares to his peers because I don't watch every other linebacker in the game. Pro Football Focus does watch all those linebackers and they have concluded that DJ remains among the best in the game.
Highest Graded LBs this Season pic.twitter.com/2EFPQkuyrs— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) November 2, 2015
Frankly, I expected to see more of a drop-off in his play than we have considering he tore his Achilles last year and is three weeks from turning 33 years old.
We asked over the summer whether the Chiefs would give DJ a contract extension because this is the final year of his contract. We were doing a bunch of guessing back then because we had no idea how he would play after his Achilles tear. Now that we know he is back, let's revisit that question.
DJ said during training camp that he hopes to play another four or five years. He will turn 33 years old on November 22. Back in March, Chiefs owner Clark Hunt seemed to indicate that a contract extension was a possibility: "You mentioned that his contract is up this year. There will be a point in time where we address that. But it just hasn't been germane to this point."
I don't have a sense of how much he would cost to keep him. The first name on that list, Luke Kuechly, has a six-year, $64 million deal while the second name on that list, KJ Wright, has a four-year, $27 million deal. I would guess closer to Wright than to Kuechly given DJ's age.
- He is still a good, productive linebacker.
- He is a team leader and the all-time leading tackler in franchise history.
- He helps the Chiefs run game, which has been a problem in the past.
- The Chiefs don't have any ready candidates ready to replace him.
- He is 32 going on 33. The Chiefs need to get younger at that position.
- He will be more expensive than a rookie.
I'm down to do something that brings him back to KC, partially because he's an all-time Chief and I can't see him playing for another team. But also because he's still a good player.
What would you do here?