- Adam Teicher, ESPN Kansas City Chiefs reporter
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Indeed, that’s the case. Hali said today he and his agent are working with the Chiefs on a restructured contract that would allow him to stay in Kansas City.
“It’s not about the numbers for me,’’ he said. “It’s about whether the situation makes sense for them because I want to be there and play for the Chiefs. The general manager [John Dorsey] and coach [Andy] Reid, they know I want to be there. That’s why I say it’s a matter of how I fit into what the Chiefs want to do for the season.
“They’re talking numbers so I’m optimistic I’ll still be there.’’
I’ve already written that Hali is an asset to the Chiefs at his scheduled cost to the Chiefs this year of about $12 million against their salary cap. While he’s been willing to accept a reduced contract to remain with the Chiefs, he wasn’t going to take peanuts to allow that to happen.
That’s why his optimism is an encouraging sign. The Chiefs are apparently talking numbers that satisfy him.
This is no time for the Chiefs to be parting with Hali. They protected unsigned linebacker Justin Houston by making him their franchise player, but there’s no guarantee he will sign their one-year offer or play for them next season. Likewise, there’s no guarantee last year’s first-round draft pick, Dee Ford, is ready to step in and play as well for the Chiefs as Hali has for the past nine years.
I spoke with Dorsey at the NFL scouting combine in Indianapolis last month, and here’s what he had to say about Hali: “We have a plan, and we’re trying to address it. I love Tamba. I love everything he stands for as a player. But what I want to do is I want to be able to sit and talk things out with some more people. I want to be able to evaluate what we’ve got going on here in the [draft] class of 2015 and then I can get some clarity to the overall plan.’’
This tweet sent by linebacker Tamba Hali on Thursday would seem to indicate more than a little optimism that he would play for the Kansas City Chiefs.