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|Derrick Johnson's tenure with the Kansas City Chiefs is coming to an end.
The franchise's career tackles leader and a four-time Pro Bowl selection Torey Krug Jersey , Johnson will become a free agent when his contract expires at the start of the new league year March 14. He intends to keep playing, it just won't be in the familiar red, yellow and white of the Chiefs.
"I love Kansas City and this fan base. They've always had my back," Johnson said in a statement put out by the Chiefs, who made the rare decision to announce publicly that Johnson would not be returning.
That in itself speaks volumes to how much Johnson has meant to the organization.
"I'm grateful I had the opportunity to spend 13 years in a place I love," he said. "I plan on playing for several more years because I love the game so much, but I look forward to retiring as a member of the Kansas City Chiefs when my career is over."
Johnson was the Chiefs' first-round pick in 2005, though his career got off to a rocky start. At one point early on, he found himself riding the bench, and was even labeled a bust.
But Johnson eventually earned his starting job back, and went on to appear in 182 games with 169 starts. He piled up 1,262 tackles to easily shatter the franchise record, had 27陆 sacks and picked off 14 passes, returning four of them for touchdowns.
He had a career-best 179 tackles in 2011 John Tavares Jersey , when he was voted the Chiefs' team MVP.
"Few players in recent history have meant more to the Chiefs franchise and the Kansas City community than Derrick Johnson," Chiefs chairman Clark Hunt said.
"His tireless work ethic and passion for the game made him one of the most productive defensive players to ever wear a Chiefs uniform and one of the most respected players both in our locker room and around the league.
"Over the last 13 seasons, Derrick represented himself and the Chiefs organization with integrity and class, and he will always be a part of our Chiefs family."
Johnson piled up his impressive stats despite missing part of two seasons with ruptured Achilles tendons. He returned from the first one as good as ever, earning his most recent Pro Bowl trip in 2015, but the second seemed to finally take a step out of his legs this past season.
He slowly lost playing time to younger teammates in the middle of the Kansas City defense.
"I'm grateful I had the opportunity to coach a player like Derrick," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said in a statement. "He's a passionate football player and a natural leader. 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."
The Chiefs have been trying to get younger the past couple of seasons, particularly on defense, and Johnson is unlikely to be the last veteran to go. Fellow linebacker Tamba Hali has been dealing with bad knees for years, and the Chiefs are expected to release him in the coming weeks.
Johnson signed a three-year, $21 million contract extension in 2016, but he had restructured the deal a year ago to help the Chiefs free up salary cap space. In doing so Josh Bailey Jersey , he voided the final year, and that made it simple for the Chiefs to move on.
His loss will be felt not only on the field, but in the locker room and community. Johnson often served as a team spokesman, always showing up at his locker to speak with reporters regardless of whether the team was winning or losing. And the role he played in mentoring young players, such as linebackers Reggie Ragland and Ukeme Eligwe, should help the organization for years to come.
"Letting go of a player like Derrick is particularly tough because of how much respect I have for him as a player and a person," Chiefs general manager Brett Veach said. "He's had a tremendous career in Kansas City and we wish him nothing but the best moving forward."
CLEVELAND — The Cleveland Indians will welcome first baseman Yonder Alonso back into the lineup Monday night when they host the Chicago White Sox in the first game of a three-game series at Progressive Field.
Prior to Monday’s game, Alonso will be activated off the family medical emergency list. He has missed the Indians’ last three games.
Alonso returns just in time to face one of his favorite opponents. In seven games against the White Sox this year, Alonso is hitting .400 (10-for-25), with four walks, four doubles, three RBIs and a .483 on-base percentage.
The pitching matchup Monday night will be the identical pitching matchup from last Wednesday in Chicago: White Sox right-hander Dylan Covey vs. Indians right-hander Trevor Bauer.
Bauer (5-5, 2.69 ERA) outpitched Covey (3-1, 2.29) in that game Ryan Callahan Jersey , even though Covey and the White Sox won the game 3-2. That was the last win by the White Sox, who have lost their last four games and were swept in a three-game series by the Detroit Tigers.
“Overall, it wasn’t a very good series for us,” White Sox pitcher James Shields told MLB.com. “We’ve been playing some really good baseball as of late, and we’re going to try to go into Cleveland feeling positive.”
Bauer pitched 7 2/3 innings, allowing three runs on four hits with 12 strikeouts and two walks. Covey pitched seven innings giving up two runs on 10 hits, with five strikeouts and no walks.
Bauer has struck out 10 or more batters in four consecutive starts, the longest such streak in the majors this season. The only other Indians pitchers who have had 10 or more strikeouts in four consecutive starts are Bob Feller and Corey Kluber.
Bauer has also struck out 10 or more batters in five of his last six starts and ranks third in the American League with 121 strikeouts, trailing only Gerrit Cole (130) and Chris Sale (129). After averaging 10 strikeouts per nine innings last year as a 17-game winner, Bauer this year is averaging 11.6 strikeouts per nine innings, which also ranks third in the league behind Cole and Sale.
In 15 career appearances against the White Sox, Bauer is 6-3 with a 3.55 ERA.
Covey started this season at Triple-A Charlotte where, in seven starts, he was 3-1 with a 2.33 ERA. After being recalled by the White Sox Vladimir Tarasenko Jersey , he lost his first game but in his last five starts is 3-0 with a 1.53 ERA. In three starts in June, Covey is 2-0 with a 1.00 ERA.
Cleveland’s pitching staff is in a bit of disarray after the club put two pitchers on the disabled list on Sunday. Carlos Carrasco, who was hit on the right elbow by a line drive off the bat of Minnesota Twins’ Joe Mauer on Saturday, was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a right elbow contusion. Right-hander Shane Bieber was recalled from Triple-A Columbus to replace Carrasco on the roster.
The preliminary diagnosis on Carrasco is a right elbow contusion, although he’s getting an MRI on Monday.
“Once he gets the MRI we’ll know exactly what’s going on in there,” Indians manager Terry Francona said.
The Indians also placed left-handed reliever Tyler Olson on the 10-day disabled list with a strained rib cage and recalled right-handed reliever Evan Marshall from Columbus.
Cleveland’s struggling bullpen has gotten a major boost from left-hander Oliver Perez, who was signed as a free agent on June 2 and has pitched well. In eight appearances, he has a 1.29 ERA with seven strikeouts and no walks in seven innings.
“He has a lot of deception, and he has good stuff,” Francona said. “His breaking ball has a lot of bite and his velocity is good. I think we caught a break there.”
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