Hali Stays Put With $60 Million Deal

Hali Stays Put With $60 Million Deal

As the sun rose Thursday morning, news began to come to light that the Kansas City Chiefs signed their franchise player, Tamba Hali, to a new five-year contract. The AFC's sack leader a year ago can now join his teammates on the practice field at Missouri Western Thursday afternoon.

It wasn't an easy contract for Kansas City Chiefs General Manager Scott Pioli to get done. But it's over. In fact, these negotiations began late last season shortly after the Chiefs came to terms with fellow linebacker Derrick Johnson on a new five-year deal.

However, talks ended quickly as Hali's price soared higher than the Chiefs wanted to pay and that's nothing new in negotiations in the NFL. In February, with the lockout looming, the Chiefs placed the franchise tag on Hali. That meant he was going to be a rich man in 2011.

Now Tamba Hali is even richer!

In the new five-year deal, first reported by the Kansas City Star late Wednesday evening, Hali will get $35 million guaranteed from the Kansas City Chiefs. Should he play all five years, hit incentives and receive roster and workout bonuses, the contract has a maximum value of $60 million.

Hali is a vital part of the Chiefs defense. With pass rushers at a premium in the NFL, his signing should show Chiefs fans that the organization is serious about re-shaping their defense for the long haul.

Now at hand for the Chiefs is trying to sign third round draft pick Justin Houston, who remains a curious hold out. Once that's done, hopefully later Thursday, Pioli must decide what to do about his starting cornerbacks, Brandon Carr and Brandon Flowers. And certainly if Glenn Dorsey and Dwayne Bowe start the 2011 season with a bang, both will be looking for new contracts before the season ends.

Carr has yet to sign his restricted tender and Warpaint Illustrated.com has learned that Flowers is seeking a new long-term deal. As was the case with Hali, Flowers name did come up in trade talks but nothing materialized.

Add to that the fact the Chiefs were flirting with free agent cornerback Jonathan Jospeh, who ultimately signed with the Houston Texans. And with reports we've also heard that the Chiefs have had trade discussions with the Philadelphia Eagles for unhappy cornerback Asante Samuels, Pioli appears willing to upgrade his defensive secondary. Should that trade happen, it would appear that one of Brandons won't be getting that new deal to remain in Kansas City.

We're told the Baltimore Ravens were showing interest in Hali, but talks were never serious. As for Flowers, we've heard teams such as the New York Jets, Baltimore Ravens and Cleveland Browns made overtures that fell on deaf ears within the offices of Pioli.

But the signing of Hali and the free agent acquisition of fullback Ron McClain Wednesday should appeal to the core of Chiefs fans. Getting both players under contract before the Aug. 4 deadline so free agents could begin workouts with their own teams was imperative for Pioli.

This might not signal the end of player acquisitions for the Chiefs -- they still have a mountain of cap space to fill to reach the salary cap floor. It's likely that Pioli's signings aren't quite done for the offseason.

Was Tamba Hali worth the price for the Chiefs?

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