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The Kansas City Chiefs are planning to move ahead without one of their defensive mainstays.
Linebacker Derrick Johnson is set to continue his career elsewhere when he becomes a free agent on March 14, as the team announced Tuesday its plans to move on from the 13-year veteran.
Johnson said he intends to keep playing.
“I’ve been blessed to be a part of the Kansas City Chiefs organization my entire career,” Johnson said in a statement. “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.”
Johnson, 35, was a four-time Pro Bowl selection. A first-round pick in 2005, he finishes his run in Kansas City as the franchise’s all-time leading tackler with 1,262.
“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,” Chiefs general manager Brett Veach said. “He’s had a tremendous career here in Kansas City, and we wish him nothing but the best moving forward.”
Follow Michael Middlehurst-Schwartz on Twitter @MikeMSchwartz.
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