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Kansas City Chiefs fans should not expect Derrick Johnson reunion

Andy Reid spoke to rumors of Derrick Johnson’s free agency and potential return to the Kansas City Chiefs on Wednesday.

For a good day or so, fans of the Kansas City Chiefs were curious if a reunion were possible for one of the team’s most beloved defenders of the last decade. Alas, head coach Andy Reid likely put to rest any real rumors and hopes of those who wanted to see linebacker Derrick Johnson back in red and gold.

When the Chiefs allowed Johnson to leave in free agency this past offseason, it was clear the defense had turned a corner from the core group of veterans who had carried them over the last several years. Eric Berry and Justin Houston remained, but largely the team had refreshed the entire secondary and brought in a new class of entirely defensive picks.

Johnson signed with the Oakland Raiders, a bit of a surprise at the time given that they were the Chiefs longtime rivals, but head coach Jon Gruden wanted to bring in DJ’s leadership and skill set. Unfortunately it was not a long-term fix and Johnson, who had slipped down the team’s depth chart, was recently granted his release when he asked for it. Now he is once again a free agent.

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Enter the Chiefs, who unexpectedly have serious issues at linebacker. The Chiefs have reworked the position to include Anthony Hitchens as the big free agent prize and Reggie Ragland via trade, yet both players have failed to make a difference in the Chiefs defense overall—looking either unhealthy or out of sync with the rest.

In addition, the Chiefs have brought back a few old faces since the season began. Ron Parker is back in his old spot at free safety. Frank Zombo is once again a back-up outside linebacker. Bringing back DJ once seemed far-fetched, but now it seemed like a potential fit. That is, until Reid spoke on the matter on Wednesday.

If DJ is not the answer for the Chiefs, then here’s hoping two things happen moving forward. First, let’s hope Hitchens and Ragland turn the corner with more experience in the system they’re now in. Here’s also hoping that Johnson finds meaningful work at the pro level with someone, even if it’s not with the team who will eventually honor him into their own Hall of Fame.

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