Chiefs Moving On From Derrick Johnson, Will Let LB Look Elsewhere In Free Agency

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Kansas City Chiefs inside linebacker Derrick Johnson (56) enters the field during player introductions before the game against the Tennessee Titans in the AFC Wild Card playoff football game at Arrowhead Stadium.(Photo: Denny Medley, USA TODAY Sports)

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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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32. Browns (32): Think of new GM John Dorsey as a jumper
32. Browns (previous ranking - 32): Think of new GM John Dorsey as a jumper cable, infusing dead battery with five high draft picks and $100M-plus of cap space. Start her up …  Jake Roth, USA TODAY Sports>Fullscreen31. Giants (31): Surely Pat Shurmur and Dave Gettleman
31. Giants (31): Surely Pat Shurmur and Dave Gettleman know there's no grace period in N.Y. New brain trust better navigate Eli's future, OBJ's contact flawlessly.  Brad Penner, USA TODAY Sports>Fullscreen30. Jets (28): They got unexpected head start on their
30. Jets (28): They got unexpected head start on their reboot and must now hope salary cap space and three draft picks in first two rounds fuel added momentum.  Kirby Lee, USA TODAY Sports>FullscreenORG XMIT: 119009252 ST. LOUIS, MO - JANUARY 1: Offensive
29. Colts (29): They're now in complete turmoil, left at the altar by Josh McDaniels weeks after their coaching search ended. Chuck?  Dilip Vishwanat, Getty Images>Fullscreen29. Buccaneers (22): One of league's under-the-radar
28. Buccaneers (22): One of league's under-the-radar stories, which will inevitably hit radar, is investigation of QB Jameis Winston's alleged grope of Uber driver.  Jasen Vinlove, USA TODAY Sports>Fullscreen27. Bears (26): Hirings of coach Matt Nagy, OC Mark
27. Bears (26): Hirings of coach Matt Nagy, OC Mark Helfrich are all about helping QB Mitchell Trubisky. Finding personnel for him to throw to is next priority.  Raj Mehta, USA TODAY Sports>Fullscreen26. Broncos (27): Sleeping giants? Sleepwalkers? Under
26. Broncos (27): Sleeping giants? Sleepwalkers? Under sleeping spell and awaiting magical kiss from Kirk Cousins? Choose your fairy tale in wake of nightmare '17.  Ron Chenoy, USA TODAY Sports>Fullscreen25. Bengals (23): Continuity is generally a massive
25. Bengals (23): Continuity is generally a massive factor in building and sustaining success in the NFL. Every rule has its exceptions, though.  Tommy Gilligan, USA TODAY Sports>Fullscreen24. Cardinals (20): Their new coach has one year of
24. Cardinals (20): Steve Wilks burst from anonymity into HC role – bit of an unknown. Cards have no QB and limited resources to get one. Otherwise, rosy outlook.  Mark J. Rebilas, USA TODAY Sports>Fullscreen23. Dolphins (25): Probably time for Jay Cutler to
23. Dolphins (25): Probably time for Jay Cutler to strongly reconsider retirement. But this team has chance to rebound strongly if Ryan Tannehill gets right.  Jasen Vinlove, USA TODAY Sports>Fullscreen22. Texans (30): Deshaun Watson and J.J. Watt were
22. Texans (30): Deshaun Watson and J.J. Watt were moving around nicely during pre-Super Bowl events, renewing optimism they might be in Super Bowl LIII.  Troy Taormina, USA TODAY Sports>Fullscreen21. Ravens (16): Owner Steve Bisciotti has officially
21. Ravens (16): Owner Steve Bisciotti has officially put John Harbaugh on notice that a fourth consecutive year out of the playoffs means no fifth chance.  Tommy Gilligan, USA TODAY Sports>Fullscreen20. Lions (17): Like Kyle Shanahan in San Francisco
20. Lions (17): Like Kyle Shanahan in San Francisco last year, new coach Matt Patricia begins his new job amid major skepticism following a dreadful Super Bowl.  Raj Mehta, USA TODAY Sports>Fullscreen19. Bills (14): Credit them for maximizing every ounce
19. Bills (14): Credit them for maximizing every ounce of talent into confidence-building playoff berth. But major issues suggest pendulum headed other way in '18.  Kim Klement, USA TODAY Sports>Fullscreen18. Raiders (21): Silver & Black Kool-Aid admittedly
18. Raiders (21): Silver & Black Kool-Aid admittedly sounds awful. But we're drinking it up, believing Jon Gruden leverages wisdom he's collected in past decade.  Kirby Lee, USA TODAY Sports>Fullscreen17. Redskins (19): Alex Smith seems to solve the QB
17. Redskins (19): Alex Smith seems to solve the QB quandary. But you have to wonder what he's walking into given this team's rash of injuries and free agents.  Geoff Burke, Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports>Fullscreen16. 49ers (18): No team will enter '18 season on a
16. 49ers (18): No team will enter '18 season on a longer win streak than Niners' five. Oh Jimmy, you're so fine, you're so fine you blow our minds, hey Jimmy.  Kyle Terada, USA TODAY Sports>Fullscreen15. Chiefs (6): They had to transition to Pat Mahomes,
15. Chiefs (6): They had to transition to Pat Mahomes, but it may be one step back in 2018 before two steps forward in 2019. Reeling D needs healthy Eric Berry.  David Kohl, USA TODAY Sports>Fullscreen9. Panthers (7): They need a new owner. They need a
14. Panthers (7): They need a new owner. They need a GM. They'll need new OC Norv Turner to have a flexible approach with Cam Newton. We could go on.  Stephen Lew, USA TODAY Sports>Fullscreen14. Cowboys (15): Just when you thought the drama was
13. Cowboys (15): Just when you thought the drama was nearing an end, this Dez Bryant tempest feels like it's gaining steam before making landfall.  Matthew Emmons, USA TODAY Sports>Fullscreen13. Packers (24): Aaron Rodgers told us he feels so
12. Packers (24): Aaron Rodgers told us he feels so good he's swinging a golf club with ease. Enough reason to lump them in with less-talented playoff teams.  Bob Donnan, USA TODAY Sports>Fullscreen12. Seahawks (13): Their offseason promises to be league's
11. Seahawks (13): Their offseason promises to be league's most intriguing with so many health and personality issues to hash out. Genetic recoding may lie ahead.  Joe Nicholson, USA TODAY Sports>Fullscreen11. Titans (12): Hearty #TitanUp for hiring of highly
10. Titans (12): Hearty #TitanUp for hiring of highly regarded Mike Vrabel. Talented group needs a jolt despite advancing to playoff round of eight this season.  Greg M. Cooper, USA TODAY Sports>Fullscreen10. Chargers (10): Shame their surge didn't start sooner,
9. Chargers (10): Shame their surge didn't start sooner, because they probably could've made noise in January. Requisite cap space for a kicker by the way.  Jake Roth, USA TODAY Sports>Fullscreen8. Rams (4): If you spent the 2017 season in a coma
8. Rams (4): If you spent the 2017 season in a coma and woke up during 'NFL Honors,' you might think the Rams were the '72 Dolphins. Not quite yet.  Joe Nicholson, USA TODAY Sports>Fullscreen7. Falcons (9): Personnel-wise, they're lacking for
7. Falcons (9): Personnel-wise, they're lacking for nothing. They literally may need nothing more than for OC Steve Sarkisian to catch up in Year 2.  Eric Hartline, USA TODAY Sports>Fullscreen6. Saints (5): They're built to win now as long as
6. Saints (5): They're built to win now as long as (currently unsigned) Drew Brees sticks around, but appear to be nicely set up for post-Brees era, too.  Mark J. Rebilas, USA TODAY Sports>Fullscreen5. Vikings (3): Keenum? Bridgewater? Both? Neither?
5. Vikings (3): Keenum? Bridgewater? Both? Neither? Major question they'll have to answer, but really the only one for a team with few flaws otherwise.  James Lang, USA TODAY Sports>Fullscreen4. Steelers (2): Assuming Le'Veon Bell stays, they'll
4. Steelers (2): Assuming Le'Veon Bell stays, they'll get another crack at Pats. But they're not getting younger or more mature. And Ryan Shazier void only grew.  Philip G. Pavely, USA TODAY Sport>Fullscreen3. Jaguars (8): Blake Bortles proved plenty in 2017.
3. Jaguars (8): Blake Bortles proved plenty in 2017. But his wrist surgery casts a weird and early pall on 2018 for what team that should be rising superpower.  Greg M. Cooper, USA TODAY Sports>Fullscreen2. Patriots (1): Several key players (Amendola, Solder,
2. Patriots (1): Several key players (Amendola, Solder, Lewis) headed for free agency. And we're just waiting for Malcolm Butler fallout. #NotDone or #Done?  Mark J. Rebilas, Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports>FullscreenPhiladelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz celebrates
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz celebrates with Nick Foles with the Lombardi Trophy after defeating the New England Patriots 41-33 in Super Bowl LII at U.S. Bank Stadium.  Matthew Emmons, USA TODAY Sports>Fullscreen

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    Source : https://www.usatoday.com/story/sports/nfl/chiefs/2018/02/13/derrick-johnson-kansas-city-chiefs-free-agent/334612002/

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