You never say never in sports, but it appears that linebacker Derrick Johnson’s career with the Chiefs is over.
On Tuesday, the Chiefs announced that they will let Johnson, 35, become a free agent after 13 seasons in Kansas City.
Johnson made the Pro Bowl four times and is the Chiefs’ all-time leading tackler (1,262). That includes a number of huge hits that he put on opponents in his career.
In honor of Johnson’s four Pro Bowl appearances, here are four of his biggest hits with the Chiefs:
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1. The “forward progress” sack
Let’s just rip the bandage off at the start. In the Chiefs’ 22-21 loss to the Titans in an AFC Wild Card Game in January, Johnson leveled Tennessee quarterback Marcus Mariota. Although Mariota fumbled on the play, the officials ruled his forward progress had been stopped. Um, sure. Video from Twitter user Renegade KC:
2. Taking down Beast Mode
In December, the Raiders visited Arrowhead Stadium and Oakland running back Marshawn Lynch dropped this pass when Johnson leveled him:
3. Teammates beware
In the 2014 Pro Bowl, Johnson and then-teammate Jamaal Charles played on different teams. This being the Pro Bowl, you’d expect Johnson would take it easy on his friend, who is also a former Texas Longhorn. Nope:
4. The granddaddy of them all
Even though this was from a game in 2016, Raiders running back Jalen Richard probably still cringes a bit when thinking about this hit from Johnson. Again, it came on a pass play that Johnson blew up. Video from Twitter user Scott Charlton:
I don’t doubt that there is one missing from the list. Drop me a line if you think another should be added here.
Bonus: Pick six against Jets
Just throwing this in as an extra, because it was a heck of a touchdown return for Johnson in a 2016 game against the Jets. This pick-six clinched the win: