The least surprising news of the day is that the Kansas City Chiefs want to keep LB Tamba Hali. GM Scott Pioli said as much in an interview on 810 WHB in Kansas City on Wednesday and NFL Network's Jason La Canfora reports the Chiefs will apply the franchise tag although there is hope a long-term deal will be worked out prior to March 4, when the current CBA expires.
If that's the case, the key dates to remember are today (February 10) when franchise tagging starts and February 24 when the tag period is over.
How hard will it be to get a long-term deal? The Chiefs, unlike other teams, have shown it's possible to do big deals pre-CBA with guys like LB Derrick Johnson and RB Jamaal Charles but, according to La Canfora, this negotiation involves significantly bigger numbers.
Steelers outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley and Kansas City's Tamba Hali are both seeking the deal DeMarcus Ware received from the Cowboys. The 30-percent rule and some other factors have made that difficult, but neither will be going anywhere. Both will be tagged, if nothing else. The Chiefs held some exploratory talks with Hali at the Senior Bowl, and perhaps could get something done before March 4.
What's a DeMarcus Ware-like deal?
He signed a six-year, $78 million extension in 2009 (total of seven years). Those are huge numbers but the ones people like to look at are guaranteed money and three-year payout. Ware received $40 million guaranteed and $45 million in the first three years. One thing a number of league insiders have said about the Chiefs and contracts under Pioli -- they're creative. I think that will help both sides in this process.
We love talking about these numbers, comparing them to other players around the league, but the big picture here is that both sides want Hali in Kansas City. That's great for us to hear as fans but not so good news for Philip Rivers, Jason Campbell or Tim Tebow.