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NFL free agency: Could Tamba Hali play somewhere else next season?

Kansas City Chiefs LB Tamba Hali very well could be a free agent on March 9 according to his contract which was structured in such a way to create cap space last season. It's been reported that the Chiefs and Tamba's camp have been talking about a return. However, it's less than a few week before free agency and we have no idea where that stands. So let's consider the possibility that Tamba continues to play - but not in Kansas City.

ESPN's Arizona Cardinals site wrote that Tamba Hali needs to be the Cardinals priority in free agency.

While they may find the future of their pass rush in April's draft, they can solidify the position immediately with Hali. Money, however, may be an issue. He'll demand a lot on the open market and he may not be worth it to the Cardinals, but Arizona was a pass-rusher away from Super Bowl 50 last season.

This reads like they believe Tamba can be a DeMarcus Ware type of pass rusher who comes in and makes a big impact late in his career. While I do believe Tamba can still make an impact, it's on a smaller scale. Tamba didn't just break down at the end of last season, something similar happened in each of the two seasons before that. Use him the right away, conservatively, and he can help your team. The Chiefs with Dee Ford know this better than anyone. But you're playing with fire by relying on Tamba as an every down player at this point in his career.

I suspect Tamba would disagree with my analysis of his play at this point in his career and perhaps for good reason. He may believe he will be healthy. His knee was an issue two seasons ago and an offseason surgery helped fix that knee. Now his other knee was an issue last season and he suggested at the end of the season another surgery could help fix that. Indeed, GM John Dorsey confirmed recently Tamba had surgery after the season, which is perhaps the best sign that he plans on playing next season.

At the end of the day, it's really, really hard for me to see him playing anywhere but KC. Selfishly, we hope the Chiefs can use this to their advantage and get a good player in Tamba at a reasonable price because, despite those injuries, he can still help a team.

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