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Derrick Johnson Released by Raiders After Less Than 1 Season with Team

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistOctober 16, 2018

Oakland Raiders linebacker Derrick Johnson warms up before the start of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Sept. 23, 2018 in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)
Lynne Sladky/Associated Press

The Oakland Raiders released linebacker Derrick Johnson after he made just six appearances with the team.

Head coach Jon Gruden announced the roster move Tuesday.

"We certainly wish Derrick Johnson the best," Gruden said.

Johnson signed with Oakland in May after he spent the first 13 years of his career with the AFC West rival Kansas City Chiefs, who picked him in the first round of the 2005 NFL draft.

Although the 35-year-old University of Texas product was a longtime stalwart for the Chiefs, earning four Pro Bowl selections and a First Team All-Pro nod, he made a limited impact for the Raiders.

He collected 17 combined tackles with no sacks, forced fumbles or interceptions in mostly a reserve role as the Raiders struggled to a 1-5 start.

"I put pressure on myself to play at a high level, regardless of my role," Johnson told reporters last month. "It's not 100 percent of the snaps anymore, but it's a good amount where I have to know my stuff because my name is going to be called a lot."

While the Raiders sheltered his playing time, it's worth noting Pro Football Focus graded him as the league's 35th-best linebacker through six weeks.

So Johnson may receive free-agent interest from a contender to fill a similar void elsewhere. It's unclear whether he could handle an every-down role, though.

Meanwhile, the Raiders called up fellow linebacker Jason Cabinda from the practice squad in the corresponding move. He should assume the Johnson's snaps following the team's Week 7 bye.

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