Derrick Johnson’s time in Kansas City is up

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The turnover on Kansas City’s defense is beginning, and starting with a big name.

The Chiefs announced that veteran linebacker Derrick Johnson would become a free agent on March 14.

There was another year left on the 35-year-old linebacker’s contract, but it will void, setting him free.

“Few players in recent history have meant more to the Chiefs franchise and the Kansas City community than Derrick Johnson,” Chiefs owner Clark Hunt said in a statement. “His tireless work ethic and passion for the game made him one of the most productive defensive players to ever wear a Chiefs uniform and one of the most respected players both in our locker room and around the league. Over the last 13 seasons, Derrick represented himself and the Chiefs organization with integrity and class, and he will always be a part of our Chiefs family.”

He just won’t be on the field with them after 13 seasons.

The 2005 first-round pick is the team’s all-time leading tackler.

“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.”

That “when my career is over” indicates that he wants to keep playing, and it will be interesting to see how quickly he’ll find work.

37 responses to “Derrick Johnson’s time in Kansas City is up

  1. “That “when my career is over” indicates that he wants to keep playing” … my first clue that he wants to keep playing was when he said “I plan on playing for several more years”.

  2. One of the most underrated players of this generation. Finally started getting recognition over the last three years, but has been a cornerstone of that defense for the last decade.

  3. Loved DJ for all the years, from slipping to the 15th overall pick, to Haley benching him, to watching all his interceptions. But this last year with exception of absolutely destroying Lynch, you could tell he’d lost a few steps.

    Good luck buddy!

  4. Will be blasphemous to see him in another uniform. However, I hope he catches on with a contender that has a chance to win a championship, if it’s not going to be the Chiefs.

  5. “That “when my career is over” indicates that he wants to keep playing, and it will be interesting to see how quickly he’ll find work.”

    Actually, I’d say the “I plan on playing for several more years because I love this game so much” is the indication that he wants to keep playing

  6. “That “when my career is over” indicates that he wants to keep playing, and it will be interesting to see how quickly he’ll find work.”

    As if the actual direct quote saying he planned to play several more years.

  7. DJ is a Chiefs Legend. It kills me that he may not be suiting up for the Chiefs next year. I will say he killed it in the playoff game, even if the refs screwed him on the “Forward Progress” sack call. SJ is a Classy professional. Every Chiefs fan has been blessed to watch him play.

  8. “That ‘when my career is over’ indicates that he wants to keep playing.”

    Yea, that and the part where he flat out says he plans to play several more years. Great investigative journalism, though!

  9. Derrick, Jamaal, and Tamba are all going in the ring of honor. Said to see that chapter of the Chiefs come to an end, but it’s time. I wish Derrick and Tamba (and even Jamaal) could come back for one last year on low money deals, but I know it won’t happen. Thanks for the great play. You will be missed. Come back and coach LBs in a few years!

  10. Those 2 achilles injuries he’s suffered really slowed him up. He runs like he’s stuck in quicksand anymore. Occasionally he’ll come free because he’s recognized a screen or draw or running play and he’ll bring it like a locomotive and knock some ball carrier into the next month. But those are very rare moments. Usually, he’s getting burned, whiffing on arm tackles because he’s half a second late to the hole. And besides…Johnson for the first several years of his NFL career, was a cruiser. Not performing up to his number 1 draft position, he didn’t actually start to reevaluate his own career until Todd Freaking Haley benched him back in 2009. That little public embarassment apparently lit a fire under his butt. But he wasted the first four and a half years of his NFL career, just being a slacker. Thanks for the last several years, DJ… just think what you could’ve been. Who’d have known it would take Haley of all people, to get you fired up.

  11. And that’s why a contract with a promise doesn’t mean jack. The teams and owners are doing whats in their best interest. To all current players and coaches: Take every penny you can because when the time is right they will discard you without worrying about your personal sacrifices to get there.

  12. A Texans pick that should have been. I was hoping for him with the 13th overall selection, but we chose to move down three slots to 16th and then draft Travis Johnson instead.

    Congrats to him on a fantastic career.

  13. joetoronto says:
    February 13, 2018 at 3:47 pm
    Come over to the dark side nd stick to the Cheaps twice a year.
    ——————————-
    More like go to the lite side and get stuck by the Chiefs twice a year.

  14. AFC Conference Championship Trophy named after Clark’s father, yet he doesn’t own one. Sorry you wasted your career in KC never experiencing a play off victory

  15. Actually he does have a playoff victory and about 8 other playoff games… meaning at least him teams were winners. But I suppose he could’ve went to Oakland, to only get 1 playoff opportunity, only to have it crushed by getting routed. Parter that up with losing seasons 14 of 15 years, where only Cleveland is worse. You can change city names, 3 times now?, but your still the runt that nobody wants to be part of. Enjoy the best season of your year Oakland, you really shine in the offseason.

    6-10, just lose baby!

  16. Chiefs 31 Texans 0, Playoff win with DJ

    One more playoff win than the Faiders over the past 14 years. So there’s that, which is nice.

  17. Great player and an upstanding man. His education foundation has done a ton of good work for students in KC.

    KC is releasing the glue of their defense. I think they’re doing it too soon and will regret it.

    Cowboys, call him up! I bet he’ll first look home to Texas before looking elsewhere.

  18. Unfortunately, the reality is the same as it is with many older experienced working people. Age and experience will not necessarily translate to a job. There is always someone younger and cheaper and if they get injured it is still cheaper in the long run. I don’t play but I know the score.

  19. I have the upmost respect for Mr. Johnson, he’s been a tremendous player. I wish him the best of luck, wherever he lands.

    – Raiders fan

  20. I wish I could edit comments. But Derrick Johnson deserves better in my humble opinion. Guy was always honest, upstanding, and above all, a leader. His speed has diminished a lot after his knee injuries (and age of course), but there was a noticeable difference in the discipline of the Chiefs defense when he came back. Very classy statement to acknowledge the full scale of the circumstances, but I think staying in any capacity would have been good for KC, even if not as a full time starter. I think Johnson knows that wherever he goes, he will not likely start, and we all know he is loyal to KC, so it may have been there.

    Where next? Any team would love to have him along.

  21. Chiefs 31 Texans 0, Playoff win with DJ

    One more playoff win than the Faiders over the past 14 years. So there’s that, which is nice.
    ——————————————-
    Enjoy your ONE playoff win since 1993. ha

  22. silvernblacksabbath says:
    February 14, 2018 at 12:31 pm
    Chiefs 31 Texans 0, Playoff win with DJ

    One more playoff win than the Faiders over the past 14 years. So there’s that, which is nice.
    ——————————————-
    Enjoy your ONE playoff win since 1993. ha
    —————————————-
    Is ONE playoff appearance and ZERO playoff wins since 2002 somehow better? Pot meet Kettle.

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