Remember: The victims of the Parkland, Fla. school shooting

Kansas City Chiefs LB Derrick Johnson to become free agent when contract expires next month

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — After 13 seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs, linebacker Derrick Johnson is set to become a free agent next month when his contract expires, the Chiefs announced Tuesday.

Johnson’s contract expires March 14, the start of the new league year for the NFL. He was drafted by the Chiefs in the first round of the 2005 NFL Draft and has been with the club ever since then.

Inside linebacker Derrick Johnson #56 of the Kansas City Chiefs sets an alignment call for his defensive backs against the Jacksonville Jaguars at Arrowhead Stadium during the second quarter of the game on November 6, 2016 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

The four-time Pro Bowler is the Chiefs’ all-time leading tackler with 1,262 stops in his career.

In a statement from the Chiefs, head coach Andy Reid said he’s grateful he was able to coach “a player like Derrick.”

“He’s a passionate football player and a natural leader,” Reid said. “I value the amount of quality work he put in every day for us, including teaching our younger players what it means to be a pro. I think he will make an incredible coach when he is done playing the game, if he chooses.”

In the same statement, Johnson said he has been blessed to be a part of the organization.

“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,” Johnson said. “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.”