He said he wanted to keep playing, and Derrick Johnson will ... with Raiders

Derrick Johnson signed a one-day contract with the Chiefs and retired Wednesday.
Derrick Johnson signed a one-day contract with the Chiefs and retired Wednesday. file photo

When Derrick Johnson became a free agent in February, the Chiefs linebacker and the team couldn’t have been more effusive in their praise of one another.

“Few players in recent history have meant more to the Chiefs franchise and the Kansas City community than Derrick Johnson,” Chiefs chairman and CEO Clark Hunt said.

“I’ve been blessed to be part of the Kansas City Chiefs organization my entire career,” Johnson said.

But Johnson also said this in his statement that day: “I plan on playing for several more years because I love this game so much.”

Funny how the football business works; Johnson has signed with the Oakland Raiders. The agreement comes a day after Johnson visited Oakland, and was first reported by Mike Silver of

No riding quietly into the sunset for the 35-year-old Johnson, who in his 13 seasons became the Chiefs' career leader in tackles. He finished second on the club in that department last season, with 71.

The Raiders and new head coach Jon Gruden will look at Johnson as a middle linebacker option, perhaps replacing NaVorro Bowman.

Tennessee nose guard Kahlil McKenzie, son of Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie, talks about being drafted in sixth round by the Chiefs and making the switch to guard.

Johnson could join the handful of players who have suited up for both sides of one of the NFL’s top rivalries — guys like running back Marcus Allen, quarterback Rich Gannon and cornerback Albert Lewis.

The news comes a week after the Chiefs drafted Tennessee lineman Kahlil McKenzie, son of Raiders’ general manager Reggie McKenzie, in the sixth round of the NFL Draft.