Through the first couple of months of the offseason, the Oakland Raiders have been steadily adding proven talent to the defensive side of the ball prior to the first season under head coach Jon Gruden. It was a glaring area of weakness during the 2017 NFL season where the team struggled through various stretches.
This effort has continued even as training camp is nearing in the coming weeks as the team rounds out their roster. According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, the Raiders held a visit with Derrick Johnson:
Former Chiefs’ standout LB Derrick Johnson is visiting today with…the Raiders, per source.
If the Chiefs can draft Reggie McKenzie’s son, the Raiders can sign one of KC’s favorites.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 3, 2018
Johnson’s level of production has continued to decline over the last couple of seasons as he recorded just 71 total tackles in 15 games played. His performance on the field has dropped since he tore his Achilles for a second time back in Dec. 2016, which was just over two years after the first occurrence.
Although he is not the player he once was, Johnson is an established defensive star that has earned four Pro Bowl selections, a First-Team All-Pro nod, a Second-Team All-Pro selection, and is the Kansas City Chiefs’ all-time leader with 1,151 total tackles. The possible addition of Johnson would effectively replace NaVorro Bowman, who had spent his first season in Oakland last year.
Bowman is still floating around in the free agent market with reported interest from the New York Giants. The Raiders could still explore the possibility of bringing him back into the fold given his familiarity with the organization.
This may just be a visit for the time being, but it does signal that the team could bring in another established veteran to the mix to help stabilize the Raiders’ front seven. If anything, it is something certainly to monitor over the next couple of weeks with offseason workout programs beginning on April 16.