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Could veteran Derrick Johnson be a fit for the 49ers?

Johnson would be a boon to the locker room and experience on the roster, which would be pretty valuable right about now.

The San Francisco 49ers are going to add a linebacker this offseason. I don’t know what’s going to happen with Reuben Foster, but my guess is he’s going to get some punishment but remain on the roster. Still, the 49ers will want to add someone to the group, and there is one interesting name that Fooch suggested to me yesterday.

Derrick Johnson of the Kansas City Chiefs. Johnson has been a long-time leader and excellent player for the Chiefs, but he and the team are parting ways after 13 years. The folks over at Arrowhead Pride spent some time talking about what it means for the Chiefs.

One of the best linebackers of the generation, Johnson would be valuable in the 49ers’ locker room, where they have Foster and, presumably, another highly-drafted rookie coming soon. It’s naive to think that any veteran can come in and immediately “fix” a player like Foster, but it’s always part of the narrative. If the 49ers and Foster continue working together, something has to change.

The Chiefs will save a massive amount of cap space with Johnson’s contract voiding, and he’ll likely sign a short deal with a new team that isn’t near that number. He looked like he lost a step in 2017, and at 35 years old, it’s no surprise. He was returning from an Achilles tear and lost some of his lateral movement.

Discerning readers will point out that was a big reason the 49ers moved on from NaVorro Bowman. But the 49ers are going to need a veteran in the locker room, and Bowman is fitting in nicely in Oakland. Johnson took a reduced role in 2017, and he’ll probably have to take one in 2018. Could he be a good fit for the 49ers?