Tamba Hali Retires After 12-Year NFL Career; Signs 1-Day Contract with Chiefs

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistMay 10, 2021

Kansas City Chiefs outside linebacker Tamba Hali (91) celebrates a play during the second half of their NFL football game against the Oakland Raiders in Kansas City, Mo., Sunday, Dec. 14, 2014. (AP Photo/Reed Hoffmann)
Reed Hoffmann/Associated Press

The Kansas City Chiefs announced Monday that veteran defensive end Tamba Hali has signed a one-day contract and will retire as a member of the team.

Hali, 37, was a six-time Pro Bowler and a two-time second-team All-Pro selection. He finished his career with 89.5 sacks, second in franchise history behind Hall of Famer Derrick Thomas (126.5). 

Hali spent his entire NFL career (2006-17) with the Chiefs, adding 596 tackles (105 for loss), 159 quarterback hits, 33 forced fumbles, eight fumble recoveries and a defensive touchdown to his impressive sacks totals. He paired with fellow edge-rusher Justin Houston between the 2011 and 2017 seasons to give the Chiefs one of the most fearsome pass-rush duos in the NFL. 

Seth Keysor @RealMNchiefsfan

Watching Tamba Hali terrorize Phil Rivers was one of the most fun things about Chiefs football for a number of years. https://t.co/H1xGDNsk65

Though Hali hasn't played in the NFL since 2017, he never formally retired. 

While he mostly missed out on the Patrick Mahomes era and the team's Super Bowl win in the 2019 season, he helped lead the Chiefs to six playoff appearances in his career. He saw plenty of turnover in his Chiefs career, as the team went through Herm Edwards, Todd Haley and Romeo Crennel at head coach before landing Andy Reid. 

However, those teams had solid defenses with Hali and Houston headlining a talented group that also featured Eric Berry at safety. 

While Hali perhaps won't be remembered as one of the truly dominant pass-rushers of his era—he had just three seasons with 10 or more sacks—his consistency made him one of the most decorated edge-rushers in Chiefs' history.