Derrick Johnson is the Kansas City Chiefs most underpaid player? That’s what Danny Kelly of The Ringer says. More specifically, Danny says that DJ is the Chiefs most underpaid veteran player. Other young players, like Marcus Peters, Tyreek Hill or Chris Jones on their rookie contracts, are probably more underpaid but DJ fits the bill among the veterans.
Here is Danny’s argument for why he’s underpaid:
Contract: A two-year, $10.25 million deal signed in March 2017
Average annual value: $5.13 million (14th among ILBs)
2017 salary and bonuses: $2.25 million (tied for 26th among ILBs)
Total guaranteed at signing: $2 million (tied for 33rd among ILBs)
This is a little odd to hear right now because all offseason we’ve talked about whether DJ is done after his second Achilles injury or whether he has something left in the tank. If DJ comes back and plays like he did last year or is even 90 percent of who he was last year then the Chiefs will have a bargain. Father time is undefeated so I’m bracing for him to take a step back. If he can still shoot through the gap (a DJ Special as we call it) or blow up defenders or do this (turn the sound on) ...
....then the Chiefs will indeed have a bargain again. DJ has been one of the Chiefs best deals for years now. I remember when he first got his big deal under GM Scott Pioli in 2010 and it seemed like a lot of money at the time. It took about a year before we realized the Chiefs got a heck of a deal.