Raiders add linebacker, leader in Derrick Johnson

Updated May 4, 2018 - 6:40 pm

ALAMEDA, Calif. — First, it was NaVorro Bowman. Now, it’s Derrick Johnson.

For the second time in seven months, the Raiders added a veteran linebacker who previously spent the entirety of his decorated career with a rival. Bowman joined the Raiders after seven-plus seasons with the San Francisco 49ers. On Friday, Johnson agreed to a one-year contract after a 13-year run with the Kansas City Chiefs, a source said.

Johnson, 35, becomes the oldest player on the Raiders’ roster. He is a four-time Pro Bowler who has started 169 of 182 career games with 1,151 tackles, 27½ sacks, 14 interceptions and 22 forced fumbles.

Off the field, Johnson was highly regarded for his impact in the Kansas City community and locker room. Raiders coach Jon Gruden was aware of such attributes from his broadcasting career with ESPN. He also is close friends with Chiefs coach Andy Reid.

“I’ve known Derrick awhile,” Gruden said. “I think he brings us status at a critical position. He’s got a great history in this league. He’s been productive under a lot of different coaches, different schemes. He understands the AFC West. He certainly understands this rivalry. … Getting a guy like Derrick Johnson could be huge for us.”

In October, Bowman joined the Raiders on a one-year contract. The team hopes the investment in Johnson proves as fruitful. Bowman offered needed leadership to the position while recording 89 tackles, a total tied for the team lead despite having missed the first six games.

Johnson visited the Raiders on Thursday. He is their latest veteran addition under Gruden.

Of the 18 players on the roster who are 29 or older, 14 were signed since March.

Two defenders cut

Cory James pushed through pain last year before a knee injury required season-ending surgery. Health will keep him away in 2018.

The Raiders waived the linebacker Friday with a failed physical. He was one of two defenders cut, as defensive end Armonty Bryant’s contract was terminated because of a nonfootball illness. Further information on both players’ status was not immediately available.


— As expected, fourth-round pick Nick Nelson was a spectator during Friday’s start to rookie minicamp. The former Wisconsin cornerback is about three weeks into a six-week recovery timetable for a torn meniscus.

— Undrafted rookie Eddy Pineiro was absent from minicamp for undisclosed reasons. The former Florida kicker is expected to compete with incumbent Giorgio Tavecchio for a job this offseason. “We thought about drafting him, honestly, and we’re happy to have him as a free agent,” Gruden said.

More Raiders: Follow all of our Raiders coverage online at and @NFLinVegas on Twitter.

Contact reporter Michael Gehlken at Follow @GehlkenNFL on Twitter.

Raiders Videos
Vegas Nation Mailbag: How Will Raiders Perform Against Ravens
Raiders will face the Baltimore Ravens on Sunday and Review-Journal reporter Gilbert Manzano and Elaine Emerson go over what to expect from the game.
Vegas Nation: LaFell moved to IR, Hatcher returns
The Raiders move wide receiver Brandon LaFell to the injured reserve and re-sign preseason standout Keon Hatcher, as Michael Gehlken reports the corresponding moves from Alameda, Calif.
Vegas Nation: Raiders Beat Cardinals 23-21, Earn Second Win of Season
Raiders Kicker Daniel Carlson hit the game winning field goal as time expires to hand the Raiders their first road win of the Season.
Raiders players talk about the team's win over Cardinals
After the team defeated the Arizona Cardinals, 23-21, the Oakland Raiders players spoke about the victory in the locker room.
Gruden, Carr discuss the Raiders 23-21 win
Head coach Jon Gruden and quarterback Derek Carr speak to media after the Oakland Raiders defeat the Arizona Cardinals, 23-21.
Vegas Nation: Nelson, Bryant out vs. Arizona
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken reports that the team will be without wide receivers Jordy Nelson and Martavis Bryant ahead of their game against the Arizona Cardinals on Sunday.
Vegas Nation: Raiders hold indoor walkthrough due to fires
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken reports from smoky Alameda, Calif. as the Raiders move their practice indoors due to the California wildfires.
Las Vegas Raiders Stadium
Las Vegas Raiders Stadium (Raiders)
Vegas Nation: Ateman prepares for NFL debut vs. Cards
Oakland Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken explains how Jordy Nelson and Martavis Bryant's injuries could result in seventh round pick Marcell Ateman making his NFL debut this Sunday.
Vegas Nation: Nelson, Bryant injured in loss to Chargers
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken examines the injuries to wide receivers Jordy Nelson and Martavis Bryant.
Vegas Nation: Chargers Overpower Raiders 20-6
Ed Graney and Michael Gehlken discuss The Raiders loss to the Chargers following the California wildfires and mass shooting
Vegas Nation Mailbag: November 7, 2018
Elaine Emerson and Gilbert Manzano answer questions from fans on the Raiders before they take on the Los Angeles Chargers.
Vegas Nation: Gruden downplays sideline encounter with Guenther
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken reports from Alameda as Jon Gruden addresses the media for the first time a day after their Thursday Night Football loss to the San Francisco 49ers.
Vegas Nation: Raiders Dismantled by 49ers 34-3
The Raiders fall to the 49ers following Nick Mullens' impressive debut for San Francisco.
Vegas Nation: Raiders defense looks to improve against 49ers
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken discusses the Raiders defensive woes thus far prior to their Battle of the Bay game against the 49ers.
Vegas Nation Mailbag: Oct. 30, 2018
Elaine Emerson and Gilbert Manzano answer questions from Raider Nation regarding Derek Carr's performance and Jon Gruden.
Vegas Nation: Raiders seek consistent defensive rotation
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken points out a change in the team's defensive rotation from previous games.
Vegas Nation: Raiders Give up 21 Unanswered Points in Loss to Colts
The Oakland Raiders lose to the Colts after being outscored 21-0 in the fourth quarter. Michael Gehlken and Ed Graney report from Oakland.
Vegas Nation: Osemele returns to practice ahead of Colts matchup
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken anticipates that All Pro guard Kelechi Osemele may return against the Indinapolis Colts on Sunday.
Vegas Nation: Doug Martin prepares for heavier workload vs. Colts
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken discusses Doug Martin's increased role as a featured back, as well as what the offensive line's health could potentially mean for Martin's performance.
Vegas Nation: Gruden, Smith come to Carr's defense
Raiders beat reporter Michael Gehlken reports from Alameda, Calif. as members of the team deny reports of a fractured locker room.
Vegas Nation Mailbag: Raiders' Bye Week
Elaine Wilson and Gilbert Manzano go over comments from Raider Nation.
Vegas Nation: Draft Picks to Rebuild
Ed Graney discusses the Amari Cooper trade to the Dallas Cowboys and the future first round picks the Raiders will have.
Las Vegas Stadium Livecam
Raiders Adopt Student Resource Room At Robert Taylor Elementary School In Henderson
Former Raiders player Leo Gray and Robert Taylor Elementary School principal Kim Basham talk about the new resource room at the school on Sept. 25, 2018 in Henderson, Nevada. (Ron Kantowski/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
More information on design of Raiders' practice facility in Henderson
Officials plan to finish the Raiders' Henderson headquarters by spring 2020. The planned facility would be home to offices, training facilities and 4 1/2 football fields.
Vegas Nation: Raiders fall short in Week 1 to the Rams
Bryan Salmond and Gilbert Manzano are in studio recapping the first game of 2018 for the Oakland Raiders. Michael Gehlken and Ed Graney report from Oakland.
News Headlines
Add Event
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like