We mentioned this yesterday but it's worth emphasizing again -- the franchise tag is expected to remain in the next collective bargaining agreement. ESPN's Chris Mortensen has a lengthy list of details in the next CBA and confirmed that the discussions have included an expectation that the franchise tag will remain.
Reportedly, Hali hasn't signed his franchise tag tender yet. From what I can gather the Chiefs want to sign him to a long-term deal so Hali signing the tender could be a formality. Sign the tender, secure 2011's salary, and then work on a more cap-friendly, long-term deal from there. That's my hope, at least.
If the franchise tag wasn't included in the new CBA...whoa, I don't even want to think about that. Hali could hit the open market and, though the Chiefs could still re-sign him, the competition could raise his price tag. It's also possible he could leave KC. A Chiefs defense without Tamba Hali is not a defense I want to see. He's only the league's most productive pass-rusher.
Moving forward, the presence of the franchise tag could continue to be important for the Chiefs. Guys like WR Dwayne Bowe and CB Brandon Flowers are entering the final year of their contracts so it sounds like the Chiefs could have the tag at their disposal if they choose to use it.