The Houston Texans have traded Lonnie Johnson Jr. to the Kansas City Chiefs.
Lonnie Johnson Jr. no longer wanted to be a member of the rebuilding Houston Texans, and the franchise granted him what he wanted by trading him to the Kansas City Chiefs.
In return, the Texans were given a 2024 conditional seventh-round pick, so basically Houston made sure they got at least a small return for the former second-round pick (2019), meaning he’s another player gone of the few left who were brought in by Bill O’Brien and the former regime.
This was needed as the Texans are rebuilding the franchise in the vision of general manager Nick Caserio and the front office, and it was apparent Johnson was ready to move on as well.
In joining KC, Johnson will be reunited with former Texans safety Justin Reid, who signed with the Chiefs this offseason in free agency with a three-year contract.
So two players in the Chiefs’ secondary were members of a Texans secondary that averaged 242.2 passing yards per game in ’21 (23rd in the NFL), but the KC secondary was worse last season, allowing an average of 254..4 passing yards per game (27th in the NFL).
Johnson in his three seasons with the Texans was active for 44 games and made 19 starts, finishing with career numbers of three interceptions (all in ’21), 13 passes defensed, 128 solo tackles, one tackle for loss and three QB hits.
In ’21, Johnson allowed 17.3 yards per completion in coverage and 88 yards after the catch. Looking at total air yards on completions, that number was 232 yards this past season, and on completion percentage against him he had a career-best 57.9-percent (22 completions on 38 targets).
Overall, the Chiefs might have gotten a steal for a seventh-round pick, as Johnson could be really hitting his stride in year four in the NFL.
What’s next for the Houston Texans?
The 2022 NFL Draft saw the Texans add cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. with the third overall pick, and safety Jalen Pitre in the second round. That’s a start in replacing Reid and Johnson on the roster, plus they are players that Caserio wanted on his roster.
As this rebuild continues, the secondary will be stronger that it has been in recent memory, and with others on the roster such as Desmond King II, Jimmy Moreland, Tavierre Thomas and Isaac Yiadom, the Texans next year could target more players at cornerback through the draft, depending on what others achieve on the field this season.
Again, Johnson is a good football player who will most likely have success, but there were times last season where it seemed like he and Houston weren’t on the same page, and now it is best the two parties moved their separate ways, like others have this offseason.
Caserio is going to win or lose on his own terms, and how he’s building the roster is evidence of that. Now it will be fun to see how all of this turns out, and don’t be surprised to see both the new Texans secondary and Johnson with the Chiefs each have success in ’22.