During the 2011 NFL season, Tamba Hali's agent was quoted in the KC Star as saying he and the Kansas City Chiefs had decided to wait and see how the season progressed before working on a long-term contract. The season has come and gone, and Hali was given the franchise tag.
But did they even have the opportunity to work on a long-term contract? ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that Hali, among others, couldn't have done an extension thanks to a little known clause.
Any player whose salary escalated at a higher rate than 30 percent from 2009 to 2010, as [Michael] Huff's and other players' did, was precluded from signing a contract extension with his team, according to an NFL source.
This isn't the "30 percent rule" you hear thrown around which prevented a contract extension of more than 30 percent from one year to the next. This is a separate issue that, according to Schefter, "prevented long-term deals for any player whose salary already escalated more than 30 percent from one year to the next."
This makes me wonder at what point the Chiefs and Hali's agent realized this was the case. Schefter's report suggests that not many folks knew about this.
In the larger picture, the Chiefs have secured Hali's right (depending on the new CBA, of course) and it sounds like they want him around long-term. If that's the case, then they should be able to work something out.