Hali, Johnson destined for Chiefs’ Ring of Honor


The Pro Bowl rosters have been released, and the Chiefs have some big names and some big snubs, as usual. Joining Justin Houston, Travis Kelce, Eric Berry and rookie Marcus Peters in the Pro Bowl is Kansas City favorite Tamba Hali.

Missing out on the party is the man often seen as the leader of the Chiefs defense–Derrick Johnson. Seeing Hali named to another Pro Bowl, and seeing Johnson excluded got me to thinking about the inevitable: what legacy do these guys leave in Kansas City when they hang the cleats up for good?

It became clear to me quickly that both will be Ring of Honor members because frankly, both have earned it.

Tamba Hali, drafted in the first round in 2006, has become a fan favorite for his tenacity and ability to cause chaos as an outside linebacker. Hali is a gimme for the Ring of Honor not only because of his popularity among the fans, but because his numbers back it up.

Currently, Hali sits as at a second all-time in sacks for the Chiefs, with an impressive 86 sacks. Sure, those aren’t Derrick Thomas numbers (Thomas, of course, leads the Chiefs with 126.5 sacks through 10 seasons), but when taken in conjunction with his popularity with fans and his devotion to the Chiefs, it’s easy to see why Hali has more than earned a spot in Arrowhead forever.

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Despite the Pro Bowl failing to recognize his talent this year, this next player has an even better shot at making the Chiefs’ Ring of Honor; in fact, it’s pretty much guaranteed at this point. Of course we’re talking about Derrick Johnson. It won’t be long after Johnson retires that Chiefs fans will get to see his name immortalized at Arrowhead Stadium.

Johnson has embraced his position since being drafted in the first round of the 2005 NFL draft to become a stalwart of the Chiefs defense, and the guy that many view as the general of a defense that in recent years has been one of the top units in the league. Johnson is an unquestioned leader and vet on the team, and a guy that consistently makes plays. This shows in his numbers of course, with Derrick Johnson becoming the Chiefs all-time leading tackler earlier this year. One look at that and it’s clear, Johnson is Ring of Honor material.

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So as these two near the end of their respective careers in KC, one thing is clear: both Tamba Hali and Derrick Johnson will be sorely missed by the fans, and both will likely be recognized by the franchise for the hard work and dedication they’ve given Kansas City football over the course of their careers.

Enjoy these guys while still have them folks – they don’t come around often.