The Kansas City Chiefs released linebacker Derrick Johnson after 13 seasons with the team. (AP Photo/Ed Zurga, File)

BEVO BEAT Football

Golden: Hey Jerry, go get Texas-ex Derrick Johnson

Posted March 8th, 2018

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In this week’s Golden’s Nuggets, Ced touches on a Bevo-related item. Here is his take:

Many of the prospects that went through drills and interviews at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis won’t play one down in the pros.

But for the ones who are fortunate enough to get there, there are several good role models out there who are great examples of how to conduct your business on the field and off.

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One of them, Derrick Johnson, was a star at Texas, winning the 2004 Butkus and Nagurski awards and a Rose Bowl before playing 13 seasons with Kansas City. The Chiefs have parted ways with the four-time Pro Bowl linebacker, who leaves as the franchise’s career leader in tackles. While he is a shoo-in to join fellow Texas ex Priest Holmes in the team’s Hall of Fame, Johnson told me he isn’t finished playing.

“I’m thinking I can play three or four more seasons, but it’s football,” Johnson said. “You have to go year by year. With some good luck, I can play as long as I want. I still have the fire to play in this league. It could be one team team that calls or six teams. I’m new to free agency. I really don’t know what to expect.”

Johnson, 35, was as important in the Kansas City community as he was in Arrowhead Stadium. His many charitable endeavors include his Defend the Dream Foundation, which has a goal of impacting the lives of 100,000 inner-city youth in the city by 2019 through back-to-school programs, reading initiatives, etc. Football gave him the platform to help others and he did so with the sort of class that should serve as a blueprint for others entering the pros.

Johnson — who should become the second Longhorns linebacker to have his number retired at Texas, joining the legendary Tommy Nobis — is meeting with his agent to determine his next move. The romantic in me would love to see him retire and finish with the team that drafted him. Many of us remember how strange it was to see Emmitt Smith in an Arizona Cardinals uniform or Earl Campbell wearing New Orleans Saints gear back in the day.

“It’s not about holding on,” Johnson said on the possibility of retirement. “When you get to a certain age, you still have to contribute. Even as an older player you can still make plays. It’s where I am now.”

Hey Cowboys, are you listening?

For the rest of Cedric’s Nuggets, including his thoughts on Texas men’s and women’s basketball, click here.

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