KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Following the NFL Draft during which the Chiefs selected five defensive backs, the club expanded the group further by acquiring Lonnie Johnson Jr, from the Houston Texans in exchange for a conditional 2024 seventh-round draft choice.
The 24-year-old Johnson was a 2019 second-round draft choice (No. 54 overall) by the Texans. He has one year remaining on his rookie contract. He carries a salary and cap hit of $1,206,021 for the 2022 season.
Johnson indicated earlier Monday afternoon he requested a departure from the Texans.
In Kansas City, Johnson will be reunited with former Texans teammate Justin Reid, a safety who signed a free-agent contract with the club in March.
The 6-foot-2, 213-pound Johnson was used in multiple roles in Houston without finding a permanent position. He spent the majority of his rookie season at cornerback before playing a plurality of his snaps at free safety in 2020. Last year he spent the first eight weeks of the season at free safety, including five starts, before getting benched in October by former head coach David Culley. He eventually finished the season at cornerback, including two starts.
Despite the lineup juggling, Johnson arguably showed improvement during his final season in Houston. He posted the first three interceptions of his career and broke up six other passes while yielding a passer rating of 76.6 when targeted in coverage, the lowest of his career.
Johnson has also been a reliable special teams player for the Texans, taking part in 408 teams snaps over the past three campaigns.
Johnson’s role in Kansas City remains undefined for now. The Chiefs have bolstered both their cornerback and safety groups this offseason through both free agency and the draft. Based on the conditional seventh-round draft pick compensation the Chiefs surrendered in the trade, there is no guarantee Johnson must make the team. None of his salary for the 2022 season is guaranteed.