As negotiations continue between the NFLPA and the owners, there is the possibility that the 2011 franchise tag disappears. For now the league is telling owners to use the tag as they always have, with the deadline coming at the end of this week. If the Kansas City Chiefs and free agent Tamba Hali cannot reach a new deal, expect the team to slap the tag on him. According to the reported franchise-tag numbers, Hali will still get quite the pay day.
Remember, tag amounts are an average of the top-five salaries at each position.
Quarterbacks: $16 million ($16.4 million in 2010)
Running backs: $9.5 million ($8.15 million in 2010)
Wide receivers: $11.3 million ($9.5 million in 2010)
Tight ends: $7.3 million ($5.9 million in 2010)
Offensive linemen: $10.1 million ($10.7 million in 2010)
Defensive ends: $12.9 million ($12.4 million in 2010)
Defensive tackles: $12.5 million ($7 million in 2010)
Linebackers: $10 million ($9.7 million in 2010)
Cornerbacks: $14 million ($9.6 million in 2010)
Safeties: $8.8 million ($6.5 million in 2010)
Kickers: $3.1 million ($2.8 million in 2010)
When you are asking for $40 million guaranteed, I can understand why Hali would be bummed if the Chiefs place the tag on him. However, much like when the New England Patriots guaranteed Matt Cassel more than $14 million, it’s not as if anyone is asking one of the league’s best pass rushers to work for peanuts.
We all saw what happened to the Kansas City defense when it was decided that Jared Allen wasn’t worth a big-time time contract. Hopefully Scott Pioli, Clark Hunt and Todd Haley all get together and realize that it’s best for everyone involved to open up the checkbook and keep Hali in town for a long time.