For the Kansas City Chiefs and Tamba Hali, there was a lot of speculation that the former Penn State player would be leaving the team at the start of the 2015 offseason.
Hali was carrying a large cap number on a team that was already strapped for cash. But Hali, being a team player. decided to work out a deal with the organization that keeps him here and opens up $7 million against the cap.
Hali’s career sack number of 79.5 is good for third all time in the records of the Chiefs, sitting only behind all time greats, Neil Smith (86.5), and Derrick Thomas (126.5).
Will 2015 be the year he makes his way into the organization’s record book as second all-time?
He has been the foundation of the Chiefs’ dominant pass-rush since 2006. Averaging eight sacks per season, he has seemed to not slow down. Even in 2014 when he put up only six sacks, his lowest number since 2008, Hali was still playing at a high level with over 30 quarterback pressures.
Hali has been a feared linebacker for almost a decade. The five-time Pro Bowler and two-time All-Pro is entering his 10th season with the Chiefs. Hali has a terrific partner in Justin Houston, with the two playing each other to force teams to pick their poison. It’s either the cool veteran who has the experience, or the youngster who is making his case for best in the NFL.
Dec 21, 2014; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; Kansas City Chiefs outside linebacker Tamba Hali (91) drops into pass coverage against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the fourth quarter at Heinz Field. The Steelers won 20-12. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
Hali should seemingly be slowing down as he approaches 32 years of age, an age when most players are on the decline. However, Hali keeps himself in legendary shape and appears ready to charge once more at the Super Bowl challenge.
So far in Kansas City’s OTAs, Hali seems to be feeling better from his comments. Will the offseason of rest along with his rigorous training put him back in form for 2015?
Hali, if healthy, will more than likely become second all-time in sacks for the Chiefs. Hali has been one of the greats for this franchise, and passing another great in Neil Smith would just add to his legacy. If Kansas City can get the deal worked out with Houston, both of these dominant pass rushers can get back to work on making a playoff run.
There you have it, Addicts. What do you think of Hali passing Smith on the career sacks chart? Let us know in the comments.
Thanks for reading.