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Chiefs Announce They Won’t Bring Back LB Derrick Johnson

The Chiefs announced on Tuesday that linebacker Derrick Johnson will become a free agent when his contract with the club expires at the start of the new league year on March 14. The announcement ends Johnson’s 13-year run with the Chiefs.

Johnson is the franchise’s all-time leading tackler, compiling 1,262 career stops (993 solo) in his 13 seasons with the Chiefs (2005-17). He earned four Pro Bowl berths in his time with the club.

“I’ve been blessed to be a part of the Kansas City Chiefs organization my entire career,” Johnson said. “I’d like to thank the Hunt family, my coaches, teammates and the staff for the tremendous amount of support I received over the years. I love Kansas City and this fan base, they’ve always had my back. I’m grateful I had the opportunity to spend 13 years in a place I love. I plan on playing for several more years because I love this game so much, but I look forward to retiring as a member of the Kansas City Chiefs when my career is over. I’ll miss my Chiefs teammates – we made a lot of big plays together over the years – and I wish them the best in bringing a championship home to the best and loudest fans in the NFL.”

General Manager Brett Veach and Head Coach Andy Reid weighed in on Johnson’s tenure in Kansas City.

“Letting go of a player like Derrick is particularly tough because of how much respect I have for him as a player and as a person,” Veach said. “He’s had a tremendous career here in Kansas City, and we wish him nothing but the best moving forward.”

“I’m grateful I had the opportunity to coach a player like Derrick,” Reid said. “He’s a passionate football player and a natural leader. I value the amount of quality work he put in every day for us, including teaching our younger players what it means to be a pro. I think he will make an incredible coach when he is done playing the game, if he chooses.”


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