Tamba Hali

Tamba Hali Likely To Retire

Former Chiefs linebacker Tamba Hali sounds like he’s ready to retire. In an interview with Sirius XM NFL Radio (Twitter link), Hali indicated that he might be ready to move on. 

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I just need to continue to work out and do my music,” Hali said. “I don’t want to focus too much on football. I don’t see myself getting back into football. I see myself being involved with the Chiefs somehow, maybe as a specialist being able to teach the guys. I don’t want to lie to myself. I think the time has come.”

Hali has not finalized his decision and admitted that he wants to continue playing “at times.” However, at other times, he has found himself far more interested in his family and his other hobbies.

The Chiefs released Hali in March after a season that began on the PUP list and ended with little playing time overall. Hali appeared in just five games, starting none, and did not record a sack.

Hali left the Chiefs as the team’s No. 2 all-time sacker — behind only Derrick Thomas. The former 2006 first-round pick re-signed twice with the Chiefs and earned five straight Pro Bowl invites, from 2011-15, recording 89.5 sacks after his 11th season. He finished with three double-digit sack seasons, the last of which coming in 2013. Unfortunately, injuries plagued him for years and he has not been in top form for a while.

Hali confessed that he would like to rack up another 10.5 sacks to hit 100 for his career, but he is also content knowing that he gave it his all over 12 NFL seasons.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chiefs To Release Tamba Hali

The Chiefs are going to follow through with a move expected for a while. They will release Tamba Hali, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports (on Twitter).

This comes after a season in which Hali did not play much and began it on the PUP list. Hali played in just five games, starting none, and did not record a sack. Kansas City re-signed both Hali and Derrick Johnson in 2016 to three-year, $21MM deals. Both will be gone by the time the franchise reconvenes for OTAs.

A release of the longtime franchise cornerstone will save the Chiefs more than $7MM. It will come with a dead-money hit of $1.7MM, but that is far less than it would have cost the team a year ago.

If Hali is indeed finished with the Chiefs, he will exit as the team’s No. 2 all-time sacker — behind only Derrick Thomas. The former 2006 first-round pick re-signed twice with the Chiefs and earned five straight Pro Bowl invites, from 2011-15, recording 89.5 sacks after his 11th season. Hali finished with three double-digit sack seasons — the last of which coming in 2013. Hali, though, has dealt with injuries for a number of years now and has not been in top form for a while.

The Chiefs still have Justin Houston under contract, and Dee Ford‘s injury guarantee will trigger is fifth-year option.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chiefs’ Tamba Hali Leaning Towards Retirement

This could be the end of the line for Tamba Hali. The Chiefs outside linebacker hasn’t made a formal decision, but he sounds like he’s inclined to retire this offseason. Tamba Hali (vertical)

I don’t want to speak on it, and then I don’t want to run away from the question,” Hali said (via Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star). “I don’t want to say I’m not gonna play, because the way I feel two weeks out of football, I’ll probably be ready to play. But I would say I’m leaning more towards (being with) my family.”

Hali has spent his entire 12-year career with the Chiefs, but there’s no guarantee that he would be back with the team next year even if he wanted to continue playing. He’s slated to carry a hefty $9.7MM cap hit next year – an exorbitant amount of money for a player who missed most of the year due to injury. By releasing Hali, the Chiefs can (and will) save $8MM of that total.

If Hali were to play elsewhere, he says he would first have to secure the blessing of his family. Although he would like to reach 100 career sacks (he currently has 89.5), he might not want to start anew in order to make it happen. Instead, he may move on to the next phase of his life, which includes the making of Dance/African/ Caribbean music.

Before Hali thinks about his next great beat, however, he has bigger fish to fry. The Chiefs face the Titans on Saturday for the right to advance to the divisional round.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Notes: Dolphins, Grimes, Gordon, Hali, Ford, Stanley, Pats Injuries

The Dolphins season has taken a dive in recent weeks. After starting the year 4-2, the team has lost control of the final AFC Wild Card spot, losing their past three games by a combined 67 points, thanks to blowout defeats at the hands of the Ravens and Panthers. However, while their reliance on Jay Cutler and midseason trade of Jay Ajayi have’t helped, Adam Beasley of the Miami Herald opines that the secondary has been one of the major reasons why the Dolphins are not in position to be playoff contenders, particularly in regards to loss of Brent Grimes when the franchise opted to cut him before the 2016 season.

Beasley explains that the front office decided to move on from the veteran cornerback because his age, salary, 2015 performance and even his wife’s antics, but in hindsight the team misses Grimes’ steady contributions. The 34 year-old corner will face his former team for the first time since they let him walk this Sunday. Since his release, the Dolphins have failed to rectify the position with the likes of Byron Maxwell, Tony Lippett, Xavien Howard and Cordrea Tankersley. While Howard and Tankersley are still young, both aren’t guys you can lean on during a playoff run. In comparison, Grimes has played more like a middle of the pack corner this season , grading out as the 60th best corner in the league, according to Pro Football Focus. Still, in Beasley’s opinion the way the team has handled their defensive back situation has been a dud all around over the past few years.

  • Josh Gordon is back at the Browns practice facility and he has made a positive impression on head coach Hue Jackson, according to Nate Ulrich of the Akron Beacon Journal (Twitter link). Ulrich passes along that the second-year Cleveland head coach has stated that the wideout has been “involved” and is a “pleasure to be around”. The Browns reporter also states that Jackson expects the talented reciever to be back on the practice field on November 20. Still just 26 years old, Gordon last played for the team in 2014, and has since been suspended from the league for multiple drug violations. The former high supplemental draft pick will be a restricted free agent in 2018, so he needs to make the most of every opportunity to impress the coaching staff if he wants a real chance to continue his playing career.
  • The Chiefs will be without two key pass rushers when they travel to New Jersey to take on the Giants this Sunday. Both Dee Ford and Tamba Hali have been ruled out for the contest, according to Adam Teicher of ESPN.com (Twitter link). This is particularly interesting development in the case of Hali because the team took the cautious approach to resting him by putting him on the PUP before the start of the regular season. However, he remains on the sideline despite being placed back on the active roster. Kansas City will lean on Frank Zombo with these pass rush specialists unavailable. Getting to the quarterback has been an issue for the team, as the Chiefs currently rank in the bottom half of the league in terms of sacks, racking up just a combined 19.0 through ten weeks.
  • The Ravens have already lost their best offensive lineman for the year in Marshal Yanda and have another troubling injury situation unfolding regarding left tackle Ronnie Stanley. Even after a bye, the second-year lineman is doubtful to play with a concussion, tweets Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun. Obviously, all concussions should be taken seriously, but his absence should be a concern considering that Baltimore has really had to shakeup their protection for Joe Flacco with the injuries to Yanda and second-year guard Alex Lewis. James Hurst would likely get the start in place of Stanley, which is a significant downgrade for a team that is looking to gain momentum in securing the final AFC wild card spot over the last seven weeks of the regular season.
  • The Patriots will be without two starting offensive lineman of their own when they travel to Mexico City to take on the Raiders on Sunday afternoon. Both center David Andrews (illness) and right tackle Marcus Cannon (ankle) have been ruled out, according to Mike Reiss of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Backup lineman Ted Karras got some snaps at center during last week’s blowout of the Broncos and the team has reserve tackles in Cameron Fleming and LaAdrian Waddle who could fill in at right tackle. Bill Belichick and co. will also be without Chris Hogan and special teams ace Matt Slater, so the team has to overcome more than just new surroundings to get out of Mexico with their eighth win of the year.

 

Chiefs Move Tamba Hali To Active Roster

The Chiefs are ready to fire up Tamba Hali. The outside linebacker has been moved to the active roster and will dress this weekend against the Cowboys. To make room, defensive back D.J. White has been placed on waivers. Tamba Hali (vertical)

Hali began the year on the PUP list, ruling him out for the first half of the season. It was first reported on Nov. 2 that Hali would begin practicing, but there was a hiccup in the plans. Coincidentally or not (probably not), Hali has been given the green light to play after an adjustment to his deal for the 2018 season.

The new contract calls for Hali to make an extra $250K in signing bonuses, but also shifts $1MM in 2018 base pay to a roster bonus due on March 1. That might seem like a minor change, but it will result in the Chiefs making a decision on Hali before the start of free agency. If the Chiefs kick Hali to the curb, he’ll have an opportunity to go elsewhere while the free agent cash is still flowing.

Hali, 34, appeared in all 16 games for the Chiefs in 2016, but he only logged two official starts.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

West Notes: Garoppolo, Chiefs, Raiders

Even with the trade deadline being one of the most active in years, whenever a quarterback gets traded, that deal takes center stage. After years of will they or won’t they, the Patriots finally gave in and dealt backup Jimmy Garoppolo to San Francisco for a 2018 second round pick a few months before the signal caller was about to hit free agency. Now given some time to digest the move, NFL coaches and execs are starting to express their thoughts. Albert Breer of the MMQB, has relayed some of those opinions from anonymous personnel throughout the league in his column yesterday. The overall sentiment from the coaches and front office members from the article loved the deal for the 49ers given Garoppolo’s talent and the general lack of starting caliber QB’s throughout the league. But there was also a general understanding about the Patriots rationale for making the move given how unlikely it was they were going to use the franchise tag on their backup QB. Obviously it’s far too early to declare winners and losers, but the opinions from actual NFL coaches and front office people are definitely worth the read.

  • The Chiefs will be without some solid contributors in linebacker Dee Ford and wideout Albert Wilson on Sunday, reports Blair Kerkhoff of the Kansas City Star. Wilson is currently the second leading wide receiver in terms of catches and yards, while Ford racked up 13 combined tackles and 2.0 sacks. Kerkhoff also notes that pass rush specialist Tamba Hali‘s status was a little more up in the air according to head coach Andy Reid“He’s literally just knocking the rust off,” Reid said. “We’re literally taking it day by day and seeing; let’s just see what happens.” The veteran just started practicing this week after just being activated from the PUP list yesterday.
  • Another AFC West team is dealing with the injury bug, particularly to the secondary. The Raiders will be without defensive backs David Amerson, Gareon Conley and Demetrius McCray this Sunday, according to Michael Gehlken of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. However, he does also point out that the team will get some much needed help as rookie safety Obi Melifonwu is set to make his NFL debut after being activated from the injured reserve this week. Oakland’s pass defense has been a weakness all year and they’ll be searching for answers in new places when they take on the Dolphins in Week 9.
  • In off the field Raiders news, it was announced today that the target date for the completion of the team’s Vegas Stadium will be July 31, 2020, according to Steve Sisolak, who is a candidate for Nevada Governor (Twitter link).

 

 

Chiefs, Tamba Hali Adjust Contract

Tamba Hali is set to return from the PUP list shortly. When he does, he’ll be doing so under a revised contract. The Chiefs outside linebacker will now receive a $250K signing bonus for the 2018 season while also having $1MM of his 2018 salary moved from base pay to a March 1 roster bonus (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). Tamba Hali

The adjusted contract might explain why Hali did not begin practicing on Wednesday, as originally planned.

I’m not sure exactly what’s going on, to be honest with you,” Reid said earlier this week (video link via the Kansas City Star). “When I walked out here, he was not practicing. [GM] Brett Veach is dealing with all that. I don’t know exactly the situation and what’s going on right now. That’s between Brett, Tamba and his representatives.”

The changes to the deal might seem inconsequential, but they could impact Hali’s future with the team. By converting $1MM of his 2018 base pay into a March 1 roster bonus, the Chiefs will be forced to decide whether to keep him or cut him much earlier in the offseason. If the Chiefs opt to move on from Hali on 3/1, he will have an opportunity to get in on the first wave of free agency when teams are still flush with cash.

Hali, 34, appeared in all 16 games for the Chiefs in 2016 and played on roughly half the club’s defensive snaps. However, he finished with only 3.5 sacks, his lowest posting since 2008.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chiefs Activate Tamba Hali From PUP List

Tamba Hali looks to begin his 12th NFL season soon. The outside linebacker returned to Chiefs practice on Thursday, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets, and will be activated off the PUP list, according to Terez Paylor of the Kansas City Star.

Hali has spent the first eight weeks of the season on the PUP list, being placed there because of injuries and partly in an effort to be conserved for the stretch run in what will be his age-34 season. The longtime Chiefs edge rusher missed all of training camp because of knee pain, however, and may be eased into action. But judging by this activation, his debut figures to come Sunday against the Cowboys.

The Chiefs also saw Dee Ford aggravate a back injury that sidelined him for multiple games earlier this season. Ford left midway through Monday night’s game and has missed two practices this week.

Under optimal conditions, Ford would be Justin Houston‘s complementary pass rusher with Hali rotating in off the bench. But if Ford misses time, Hali should be expected to see more action than anticipated.

Hali has started 157 games for the Chiefs but opened with the first unit in just two games last season despite Houston’s knee injury. He also played just seven snaps in Kansas City’s divisional-round loss and voiced his frustration about his usage over the summer.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Chiefs To Place Tamba Hali On PUP

The Chiefs will place linebacker Tamba Hali on reserve/PUP, meaning he will miss the first six games of the season, according to Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star.Tamba Hali

Kansas City hasn’t released information on Hali’s specific injury, and Paylor speculates that the decision to place Hali on PUP could be a way to conserve the veteran for later in the season. The Chiefs will face several difficult opponents during the first six games of the year, however, as the club has games against the Patriots, Eagles, Chargers, Redskins, Texans, and Steelers.

Hali, 33, appeared in all 16 games for the Chiefs a season ago and played on roughly half the club’s defensive snaps. However, he finished with only 3.5 sacks, his lowest total since 2008. With Hali sidelined, Dee Ford will see even more action opposite Justin Houston at outside linebacker.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Notes: Bengals, Osweiler, Hali

Tyler Eifert and Vontaze Burfict are both entering their contract seasons, and while the Bengals have not allowed a Pro Bowl player to leave via free agency who is under the age of 32 since 2011, both players present unique considerations. Both are justified in aiming to be paid at the top of the pay scale for their respective positions, but Jim Owczarski of the Cincinnati Enquirer says Burfict, because of his injury history and run-ins with the league’s player safety rules, is more likely to receive a contract like Dont’a Hightower‘s (four years, $35.5MM with $17MM in guarantees) than Luke Kuechly‘s (five years, $61.8MM with $34MM in guarantees). Also, given Hightower’s difficult time in free agency this season, it is unclear whether Burfict will want to try his luck on the open market.

Eifert’s own injury history could hinder his financial prospects, though league sources indicate he is in line for a five-year pact with an AAV of roughly $9MM. Unlike Burfict, however, the franchise tag is an option for Eifert if the two sides cannot hammer out a long-term deal this year, although both parties are motivated to get something done.

Now for more from the AFC:

  • Brock Osweiler apparently still has a chance to start for the Browns in Week 1. Although Cody Kessler and DeShone Kizer are considered the most likely candidates to open the season under center, a lot will depend on Kizer’s development. As Mary Kay Cabot of Cleveland.com writes, if Kizer does not develop as anticipated during training camp — he has progressed well to this point, but things can always change when the pads are on — then Osweiler could reenter the mix as a challenger to Kessler.
  • Patriots linebacker Rob Ninkovich is entering his contract year, but at this point, he does not foresee himself playing for anyone other than New England, as Mike Reiss of ESPN.com writes. Ninkovich was drafted by the Saints in the fifth round of the 2006 draft and spent several years with the Dolphins, but his career did not blossom until he signed with the Pats in 2009. Since 2010, he has posted at least four sacks per season as a versatile defensive end/linebacker, including three consecutive eight-sack seasons from 2012-14. He is so grateful for his time in New England that, when asked if he could envision himself playing for another club, he said, “I wouldn’t do that.”
  • Tamba Halis Twitter rant last night drew quite a bit of attention, but the Chiefs linebacker says he is not considering holding out and he has not been told he is not in the team’s 2017 plans. He said he simply wants to play more (Twitter link). Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star says (via Twitter) that Hali did address the matter internally back in January, and he was told by head coach Andy Reid to just “keep getting better.” That obviously did not sit well with Hali, who apparently stewed about it for some time before unleashing a bit last night.
  • Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida Times-Union wonders what, if anything, Trai Turner‘s recent four-year, $45MM extension could mean for Jaguars center Brandon Linder, who was drafted one spot behind Turner in the 2014 draft. Linder started his career at right guard but was moved to center last season after missing 13 games due to a shoulder injury in 2015. He has missed 15 total games in his career, and it sounds as if Jacksonville will simply allow him to play out his contract because of that injury history. If contract talks do commence this year, it will be interesting to see if Linder gets paid like a center or if he receives a deal that suggests he could return to right guard in the future.