Jarret Johnson retires from NFL

SAN DIEGO -- Outside linebacker Jarret Johnson announced his retirement from the NFL on Tuesday, ending a 12-year professional football career, including the final three seasons spent with the Chargers.

"Today I am announcing my retirement from the game I love," Johnson, 33, said in a note posted on his Instagram account.

"I lived a dream which few can say but it's time to move on. I want to thank the Chargers organization for giving me a home these past three years. I have nothing but respect for the players, coaches, front office staff and fans that were a part of me and my family's lives. It's been a great ride!"

Johnson's final season in San Diego was his most effective. He missed one game due to the birth of his daughter; he played a full 16-game season nine times in his pro career.

And when Johnson played, he produced. In 523 plays last season, he ably served as San Diego's run-stuffing linebacker on the outside, finishing ninth on the team in tackles with 51. He added a sack and a forced fumble.

Johnson was scheduled to make $5 million in base salary in the final year of a four-year deal in 2015. The Chargers will save $5 million in cash and salary-cap space.

Johnson played nine seasons with the Baltimore Ravens, who selected him in the fourth round of the 2003 draft. He played in 184 games, finishing with 506 combined tackles, 25.5 career sacks and 11 forced fumbles.