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Old 05-23-2007, 02:24 PM   #1
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Default Keshawn Johnson to retire

Johnson turns down Titans, will retire news services

Keyshawn Johnson has declined an offer from the Tennessee Titans and has decided to retire.

The wide receiver, who also expected to receive an offer from the Oakland Raiders, is expected to announce his decision at a Wednesday afternoon news conference at his alma mater of USC, his agent, Jerome Stanley, told's John Clayton.

Johnson will pursue a broadcasting career with ESPN.

"Following Keyshawn's retirement announcement we plan an announcement on his joining ESPN," the network said Wednesday.

"The timing of it was just right," Stanley said of Johnson's decision. "There were a couple of slots open in broadcasting. He was either going to retire this year or next year, but the timing just turned out to be right now."

Johnson, who turns 35 in July, was released by the Carolina Panthers earlier this month after the Panthers drafted Southern California wideout Dwayne Jarrett. He had 70 catches for 815 yards and four touchdowns for Carolina in 2006.

Johnson, the No. 1 pick in the 1996 NFL draft, has started 162 of 167 games in his 11 NFL seasons that spans stints with Carolina, Dallas, Tampa Bay and the New York Jets. He retires with 814 career receptions for 10,571 yards and has 64 touchdowns.

He worked as an analyst on ESPN's televised coverage of the the NFL draft last month.

Johnson had visited the Titans on Friday and met with coaches and watched film. Titans coach Jeff Fisher, who became friends with Johnson while he played at USC and Johnson was a ball boy, said Monday he thought Johnson's numbers and production spoke for themselves.

"He still played at a high-level last year. He takes very good care of himself," Fisher said. "He hasn't had any injuries per se. Anytime you get a chance to bring an experienced veteran in to add to your roster then it's a good thing."

But Johnson decided to leave the field for the broadcast booth -- though he was coy about his plans.

"Out of respect for the announcement I plan to make, I just want to wait until the press conference for everyone to find out," Johnson told The Associated Press. "If there's a lot of rumors and stuff out there, that's fun." senior writers Michael Smith and John Clayton and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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