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He was the 20th overall pick in the 2006 draft and has lived up to billing.
But could his days with the franchise that selected him in the first round 10 years ago be over?
Former defensive end-turned-outside linebacker Tamba Hali has been one of the Kansas City Chiefs’ steadiest defenders for a decade. The five-time Pro Bowler has missed just four games in 10 seasons and has racked up 86 sacks and 33 forced fumbles.
But will the Chief re-sign him, or are they ready to let him test the market? Hali spoke last month about his health and football future.
“I love the game, and I’ll give it my all every time I have the opportunity to play,” Hali said, according to Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star following the club’s divisional playoff loss at Foxborough. “First I’ve got to get healthy, I’ve got to make sure my body’s in shape to be able to play at the level these young guys are coming in playing at. A couple of months from now, we’ll find out where my mind is.
“But my heart is always with Kansas City, added Hali, “and that’s where it’s going to end.”
We’re not so sure. The Chiefs have an emerging pass-rusher in outside linebacker Dee Ford, the team’s first-round pick in 2014. Kansas City also has a lot of notable potential free agents on defense in safety Eric Berry, cornerback Sean Smith, linebacker Derrick Johnson and defensive linemen Jaye Howard and Mike DeVito.
And there’s Hali, who we sense won’t be around for a second decade in Kansas City simply because there may not be enough money to spread around. But there’s a team in the desert that would welcome him with open arms, one that totaled only 36 sacks this past season.
Best Fit: Kansas City Chiefs
Prediction: Signs with Arizona Cardinals