These are the same rumors that were discussed widely on the Internet and beyond just before the NFL draft in April. And it still appears very possible that the Chiefs will trade Johnson for the right price. The Green Bay Packers, along with the Tiki Barber-less New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles and New Orleans Saints, are some of the teams rumored to be interested.
A Scout.com source in Kansas City insists that the Packers offered the Chiefs a couple of mid-round draft picks in April, but that wasn't enough. The Chiefs wanted Green Bay's picks in the first, second and third rounds, according to the source, and the deal, allegedly, fell apart.
Now it has been reported that Johnson, who is scheduled to earn $1.7 million this season, is threatening to hold out on the Chiefs in training camp if he does not get a restructured deal. The Chiefs have been quiet on the topic, but many feel that they are trying to deal Johnson because he doesn't fit into the big picture in Kansas City. The Chiefs dealt away veteran quarterback Trent Green to Miami and are going with second-year quarterback Brodie Croyle this season. Many feel that by the time Kansas City will be competitive, the workhorse Johnson will be too bruised and battered to be effective.
We'll see, but in any case it is no surprise, if the rumors are true, that Packers general manager Ted Thompson refused to surrender three top draft picks for Johnson. If Kansas City is seeking multiple picks for Johnson, who turns 28 in November, you can bet that Green Bay won't be a player – whether it makes Brett Favre happy or not.
Thompson values draft picks like many value a cold beverage on a hot, summer day. We all know that from the Randy Moss deal with Oakland that fell apart on draft weekend. Plus, Thompson selected two backs with lots of potential – Brandon Jackson and DeShawn Wynn – in the recent NFL draft.
Along with Vernand Morency and Noah Herron, the rookie backs may not have the big name or experience that Johnson possesses, but they do possess the quickness and burst essential for thriving in Green Bay's zone-blocking scheme. They've got the desire and attitude to prove all doubters wrong. They've got the ‘fresh' legs that other veterans lose quickly after a handful of seasons in the league.
While Johnson, a bruiser-type back, has had all kinds of success in the last two seasons, there is no guarantee that his production in Kansas City would translate into Green Bay's offensive scheme.
For the aforementioned reasons alone, don't expect LJ to be suiting up in Green Bay this season. On top of that, he is seeking a blockbuster contract for his services. He's earned the right to negotiate for a huge deal, but he's also going to have to work it out with Chiefs, or a different team to get it. It simply wouldn't fit Thompson's rebuilding approach that he's had with the Packers in the last two seasons.
Todd Korth is managing editor of PackerReport.com and Packer Report magazine. E-mail him at email@example.com.