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Tamba Hali really wants to be a Chief: 'It's not about the money'

Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Tamba Hali really, really wants to come back to the Kansas City Chiefs next season. He made it clear on 610 Sports this afternoon with Danny Parkins and Carrington Harrison (listen here) that he is ready and willing to do what it takes to come back and finish his career in Kansas City. Even if that means, ahem, fixing his contract.

"At this stage of my career, it isn't about money," said Tamba, who previously discussed his desire to return to KC with the KC Star's Terez Paylor. "The Chiefs have taken care of me financially. I have some good people in my corner who have positioned me to live a lifestyle a lot of people won't be able to live. I'm not one of those guys who gets all bent out of shape over money. I love to play the game and I want to win a championship in Kansas City. If money is going to be a hindrance in doing that, we'll find a way. It's not about money."

The reason we're even having this conversation is because Tamba is set to count $12 million against the cap next year. That's a lot of money for a player who admits he is aging and "can't defy nature".

If money is going to be a hindrance in doing that, we'll find a way. It's not about money." -Tamba Hali

Plus, the Chiefs have to pay Justin Houston, who will be franchise tagged if the Chiefs can't ink him to a long-term deal next month.

"We gotta get Houston paid," said Tamba, who signed his own five-year, $57 million payday in 2011. "However we can get Houston paid, I think that should be their No. 1 priority right now."

Plenty of other players have said "it's not about the money" before but this seemed sincere. Tamba doesn't seem like a guy who would say that just to say that. I think most everyone has agreed that the only issue with bringing Tamba back is his cap hit. If that can be adjusted in some way, what's the downside?

"I'm very optimistic [about returning to Kansas City]," Tamba said. "I love being in Kansas City. I've played nine years there. I enjoy playing for our team. I love the staff that came in. Andy [Reid] and his staff. So, yeah, I enjoy being there and I would love to finish my career in Kansas City. I can't imagine being somewhere else. I'm just being optimistic."

Ultimately, the decision on Tamba's future in Kansas City will be up to Chiefs GM John Dorsey, whom he hasn't spoken with.

We gotta get Houston paid. -Tamba Hali

"I'll leave that to my agent," Tamba said. "My relationship with Andy Reid and our GM is different. I'm a player. I'm not there to talk business with those guys."

Tamba was very appreciative of the way Andy Reid managed his reps this year, both in games and practice. He said that the Chiefs have a coaching staff and a team that knows what they're capable of. He also had this line, which is a great way to end this post:

"The two teams playing in the Super Bowl, we whipped them at Arrowhead," Tamba said. "Whipped them. Our fans know. Our players in the building know what kind of team we have. We have to put it together. Money is not going to be the issue. It's gonna be health and the want to do it."

Listen to the full interview on 610 Sports here.

It's Game Time.

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