The Kansas City Chiefs announced that longtime linebacker Derrick Johnson will not be back next season. Chiefs CEO Clark Hunt released a statement:
“Few players in recent history have meant more to the Chiefs franchise and the Kansas City community than Derrick Johnson. 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.”
Johnson, 35, was the Chiefs’ first-round draft pick in 2005. He plans to keep playing, but also released a statement through the team.
“I’ve been blessed to be a part of the Kansas City Chiefs organization my entire career. 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.”