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Thursday, August 4, 2011
Chiefs spend wisely by inking Tamba Hali

By Bill Williamson

This is where your salary-cap money is going, Kansas City Chiefs fans.

Not bad, huh?

The Chiefs rocked the NFL late Wednesday night by agreeing to terms with star linebacker Tamba Hali on a five-year, $60 million deal with $35 million in guaranteed money. He is now the second highest paid outside linebacker in the NFL behind Dallas’ DeMarcus Ware.

Many Chiefs’ fans became antsy in recent days because Kansas City, flush with cap room, weren’t doing much. Securing one of their best players for the long-term qualifies as doing something. Hali was the franchised player. He hadn’t signed his tender. He can now practice Thursday.

Hali led the AFC with 14.5 sacks last season.

He is a tremendous player, who is the cornerstone of a strong, young defense. Hali, 27, is in his prime and he should be a premier pass-rusher for years. That’s why Kansas City general manager Scott Pioli locked him up.

In his two-plus years in Kansas City, Pioli has shown he is willing to give long-term deals to key players such as Matt Cassel, Jamaal Charles, Derrick Johnson and now Hali.

This was good use of the salary-cap money. The Chiefs have methodically added some solid, reasonably priced veterans in free agency and now have answered the Hali question.

It’s another smart move in a strong offseason for the defending AFC West champions.