SEATTLE - NOVEMBER 28: Linebacker Tamba Hali #91 of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrates after recovering a fumble on a sack of quarterback Matt Hasselbeck of the Seattle Seahawks at Qwest Field on November 28 2010 in Seattle Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
The Kansas City Chiefs have done what many of us expected and placed the franchise tag on LB Tamba Hali. 810 WHB first reported the news (as far as I can tell) and the Chiefs just confirmed it.
This means that the Chiefs now control Hali's rights in 2011. The franchise tag number for linebackers in 2011 is expected to be slightly over $10 million.
Hopefully, though, that franchise tag number doesn't matter, as GM Scott Pioli said in a release issued by the team that they'll continue to work on a long-term contract.
"Tamba is a key contributor to our football team, and we have a tremendous amount of respect for him both personally and professionally," General Manager Scott Pioli said. "We want Tamba to remain a member of the Chiefs, and we will continue to work together with the hope of reaching a long-term agreement."
It's no secret the Chiefs want to keep Hali around long-term. Pioli said as much in an interview on 810 WHB last week and Hali is a young and productive pass rusher, which isn't an easy combination to come by.
So how much does a young and productive pass rusher get? Last week, Jason La Canfora of NFL Network reported that Hali was looking for a deal similar to the one signed by Dallas Cowboys LB DeMarcus Ware.
We don't know yet whether this franchise tag is the exclusive or non-exclusive variety. One means he can't talk to other teams and the other means he can. Either way, Hali isn't expected to be leaving Kansas City.