GM Scott Pioli talked with Steven St. John and Nate Bukaty on 810 WHB's Border Patrol on Wednesday morning talking about our beloved Kansas City Chiefs. Pioli covered a variety of topics including the future of WR Dwayne Bowe and LB Tamba Hali.
Bowe's entering the final year of his deal and Hali is currently without a contract for next season. Pioli didn't get into specifics with where the Chiefs stand with each player but did spend a minute talking about the situation.
"Without getting into specifics of each player, and where we're at and what we're doing with those guys...just from a philosophical standpoint, I don't think it's healthy to talk about their personal business but I think everyone knows that those players are not only good players but they're players we like being a part [of], and hope to be part of our future."
The pressing issue at the moment is Hali, who does not have a contract for 2011. Pioli confirms that they "hope" both players are "part of our future". Reading the tea leaves, I think that hints that the franchise tag could be coming for Hali if a long-term contract can't be worked out. That would be a way to keep him "part of our future". (Then again, it wouldn't be the first time I've guessed wrong on one of Pioli's moves.)
The franchise tag will be available to use starting on Thursday, February 10 and going until February 24, per the current CBA. NFLPA Executive Director DeMaurice Smith said at his annual press conference in Dallas last week that the franchise tag is meaningless without a new CBA next year.
Either way, the franchise tag concept is expected to make its way into the next labor deal so we're expecting teams to use it whether a new labor deal is in place in the next two weeks or not.