The Kansas City Chiefs have designated Tamba Hali as its franchise player, the team confirmed today.
“Tamba is a key contributor to our football team, and we have a tremendous amount of respect for him both personally and professionally,” General Manager Scott Pioli said. “We want Tamba to remain a member of the Chiefs, and we will continue to work together with the hope of reaching a long-term agreement.”
The only surprise here is that it took so long. With no other free agent worthy of the tag, I expected Hali to be one of the first players in the league tagged.
The question now is two-fold. First, can Hali and the Chiefs finally get a deal done after being so far apart on numbers? Second, will the the franchise tag even mean anything? The NFL has told teams to use it as if it’s business as usual, but changes to the CBA (whenever it’s agreed upon) could change just what this designation means.
For now Chiefs fans should be happy that it appears they will get to see Hali at least for one more season. If they go into next year without a long-term deal, then we can start to worry about just how willing Clark Hunt is to open up the checkbook for his best defensive player.