Originally published April 28, 2012 at 07:01p.m., updated April 29, 2012 at 12:41a.m.

Former KU linebacker Steven Johnson agrees to free agent deal with Denver Broncos

TE Tim Biere headed to KC

Kansas linebacker Steven Johnson runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis on Monday, Feb. 27, 2012.

Kansas linebacker Steven Johnson runs a drill at the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis on Monday, Feb. 27, 2012.


For the second year in a row, a former Kansas University defensive standout has signed a free agent contract with the Denver Broncos.

Saturday, just minutes after the 2012 NFL Draft had wrapped, former KU linebacker Steven Johnson, who led the Jayhawks in tackles during each of the past two seasons, announced via Twitter that he had agreed to a deal with the Broncos.

Johnson, a 6-foot, 239-pound linebacker, who attended the invite-only NFL combine in February, joins former KU defensive back Chris Harris in the Mile High City.

Like Harris, Johnson went undrafted but found a good fit in the Broncos, who are reshaping their defense under second-year head coach John Fox.

Johnson said the Broncos came into the picture late in the draft. Denver actually tried to trade for a pick in the seventh round so it could draft Johnson, but could not secure a pick. That inspired the Broncos to tell Johnson they wanted to sign him as a free agent and, after mulling over offers from Denver, Tennessee and about half a dozen others, Johnson saw Denver as the best situation.

“I’m happy,” Johnson said. “I’m a little overwhelmed, and it hasn’t really set in yet.”

As is the nature of the business, nothing is guaranteed to Johnson at this point, but Harris, who initially confirmed the news to the Journal-World Saturday evening, said he believed his former and now current teammate had a great chance of making the team.

“He’s going to have to earn his way through special teams first and make plays there,” Harris said. “Then he will be able to show what he can do on defense.”

Johnson said Harris’ path to success in Denver played a part in his decision.

“It actually meant a lot,” Johnson said. “He was the one who called me and told me they were trying to draft me. He called me and told me all about Denver and told me they were a team on the rise, and I wanted to go to a team that could contend and win Super Bowls and stuff like that.”

Biere to Kansas City

Sources also indicated Saturday evening that former KU tight end Tim Biere, a 6-foot-4, 250-pound three-year starter, had agreed to a free agent contract with the Kansas City Chiefs.

Biere was believed to be the second most likely former Jayhawk in KU’s most recent senior class to have a shot at cracking an NFL roster.

Other former Jayhawks hoping to catch on with an NFL club in the next few days include offensive linemen Jeremiah Hatch and Jeff Spikes and cornerback Isiah Barfield, among others.


JhawkalumJB 1 year, 11 months ago

I'm thinking that Charlie had some influence in getting Biere a shot with the Chiefs. Anyone else thinking the same thing?

Having said that, it would be great to see him make the team and watch him play at the next level (locally).

Steven Johnson is a baller. He brought his A+ game every week (even when most outcomes were already known). I wish him all the best. If he approaches the NFL with the same level of heart and dedication that he did at KU, I think he will win a roster spot.


Jackalope7 1 year, 11 months ago

Like seeing Jayhawks on my Broncos team! Go Jayhawks! Go Broncos!


KGphoto 1 year, 11 months ago

That's pretty cool. Congrats Steven and Tim.

Finally the Chiefs give a Jayhawk a shot. I think they should take at least one as a free agent every year.


Ben Kane 1 year, 12 months ago

Denver is a great place for him. Congrats to both!


Ryan Lee 1 year, 12 months ago you too brotha but Stevie's gonna put a stick on you.


Ryan Lee 1 year, 12 months ago

Love ya already... My Hawks and Broncos love unites again. Chris Harris will show you the ropes of love here in Poppa D.Get ready to learn to hate the filthy Riff Raff known as the Chiefs.


yovoy 1 year, 12 months ago

Ohhhh! You meant SJ?! I thought you might be doing some sort of 'visit-your-dream-stadiums-before-you-die' thing. Your dreck is much more important than leaving your keyboard. Carry on.


James Naismith 1 year, 12 months ago

Go away, ahperse. Your act is wearing SO thin. You were occassionally funny, rarely on point, and now the schtick is just tired.


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