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Former Chiefs linebacker Derrick Johnson retires — as a Chief

The team has signed its former start linebacker to a one-day contract so he can retire where he belongs

San Diego Chargers v Kansas City Chiefs Photo by Peter G. Aiken/Getty Images

As announced by the team’s official Twitter account, former star linebacker Derrick Johnson retired from the NFL on Wednesday — as a member of the Kansas City Chiefs.

And if this video the Chiefs posted doesn’t bring a tear to your eye... well, I don’t know what to tell you.

Johnson, 36, was selected by the Chiefs 15th overall in the 2005 NFL draft. He played for 14 seasons — all but one as a member of the Chiefs. A four-time Pro Bowl player, he was an All-Pro in 2011 at the age of 29 — a year in which the Chiefs went only 7-9. He retires as the team’s all-time leader in tackles with 1,151.

In his career, he also recorded 14 interceptions, 22 forced fumbles, 27.5 sacks and 40 quarterback hits. His career was characterized not only by the soft-spoken leadership he provided in the Chiefs locker room, but also by his hard-hitting style.

Remember this? When Johnson single-handedly stopped an Oakland Raiders drive with four consecutive goal line stops?

Ironically, Johnson spent a season with the Raiders — against whom he could always be counted upon to play his best — after being released by the Chiefs in 2017. But on Wednesday, he came home to where he belonged, and where he will always be remembered as one of the team’s great defensive players.

Welcome home, DJ.

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