It’s officially official. On Monday, the Raiders announced the signing of Derrick Johnson. As previously reported, it’s a one-year deal for Oakland and the former Chiefs linebacker.
The Chiefs announced earlier this offseason that they would not be re-signing the 13-year NFL veteran. The market was slow to develop for Johnson and although he had interest from other clubs, the Raiders were the only team to bring him in for a visit. Over the weekend, Johnson explained that his continued passion for the game prompted Jon Gruden to offer him a contract.
“I still have a fire burning. I can still play at a high level, and I want to prove that.” Johnson said. “That [response] made [Gruden’s] eyeballs jump, because he’s got a lot to prove, too. There was an environment in the room that was very contagious. I knew a deal would happen after I left..I’m one of Gruden’s favorite players — he’s always had a soft spot for me. He’s always said that over the years.”
In a league that is getting increasingly younger, the Raiders have more players over the age of 29 than any other in the NFL. Like many of this year’s free agent additions in Oakland, Johnson is out to prove that he still has quality football left in the tank. He’ll celebrate his 35th birthday in November.
To make room for Johnson, the Raiders waived cornerback Darius Hillary. Hillary joined Oakland on a futures deal in January.
January 2nd, 2018 at 9:19pm CST by Dallas Robinson
Here are the latest reserve/futures contract signings from around the NFL. These deals will go into effect on the first day of the 2018 league year, with players joining their respective clubs’ offseason 90-man rosters:
The Browns have swapped one young defensive back for another. ESPN’s Adam Caplan reports (via Twitter) that the team has promoted cornerback C.J. Smith from the practice squad. To make room on the roster, the Browns have waived cornerback Darius Hillary (via Nate Ulrich of Ohio.com on Twitter).
Smith, a 2016 undrafted rookie out of North Dakota State, played in 10 games for the Eagles last season, compiling a single tackle. Prior to the current campaign, he was waived by Philly and quickly caught on with their practice squad, but he was released soon after. He subsequently caught on with Cleveland’s practice squad, where he’s spent the entire season. The 24-year-old will presumably slot in at the bottom of the Browns’ cornerback depth chart behind Jason McCourty, Jamar Taylor, Briean Boddy-Calhoun, and Mike Jordan.
Hillary has bounced between the Browns active roster and practice squad over the past two seasons. The Wisconsin product only appeared in a single game this season.