Linebacker Derrick Johnson has been a quality player for the Chiefs for a very long time. Johnson has recorded 12 seasons with the Chiefs and at 33 years old the impending free agent will still look to become a hot commodity if he hits the open market according to NFL.com. Johnson tore his Achilles in 2014 ending his season but quickly bounced in 2015 as he returned to being the Chiefs best linebacker. In 2015 he recorded 16 starts, 116 combined tackles, 8 pass defenses, 2 interceptions, and 2 forced fumbles.
Johnson still being this productive at his age helps solidify the fact that the Chiefs in all likelihood only have 1 better linebacker available to them (Justin Houston). With Josh Mauga, aging free agent in Tamba Hali, along with a ton of underwhelming backups this linebackers need to be upgraded. The last thing the Chiefs are going to want to do is to let Johnson hit free agency in order to move on to a rival or another team that needs a veteran linebacker according to CBS Sports. With the Chiefs having so many free agents in the first place this makes the resigning of Johnson and star safety Eric Berry high priorities for this franchise.
The Chiefs will have to make decisions on whether or not they would like to retain the services of Tamba Hali, Johnson, Sean Smith, Berry, Husain Abdullah, Marcus Cooper, and Charcandrick West according to the Gospel Herald. West could be one of the bigger decisions as he showed great vision and production when he stepped onto the field to help take over after Jamaal Charles went down with an injury. West became an every down back and continued to help the Chiefs plow through the competition. The Chiefs have an estimated $32 Million in salary cap space and could very well use a lot of that space to bring back some of their own free agents.