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What can Chiefs expect out of Tamba Hali in 2017?

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Tamba Hali’s contract makes it such that there are no discussions about whether or not he’ll be back with the Kansas City Chiefs at age 33. He’ll be back. It would cost the Chiefs more to cut Tamba than to keep him so they’re not going to cut him.

We saw Tamba take a step back in his playing time this year. There are reasons for that such as the emergence of Dee Ford. It’s also that Tamba is, with all due respect, old. Not old in the real world but old in the NFL at age 33. He’s had knee surgeries the past couple of offseasons. He knows he’s coming up on the end even if he does want to play four more years.

He hasn’t completely lost it but it’s clear by his snap counts which direction he’s headed. Check out the total number of snaps by season:

2014: 975

2015: 839

2016: 596

We don’t have any reason to believe that with a healthy Justin Houston we’ll see more snaps out of Tamba. If anything, we’ll see fewer because Houston will be playing all season (no jinx). The Chiefs are stuck in the contract as it is so you’ll just have to accept that they’re going to have a part-time player at an $8+ million cap hit.

Tamba does have other value, of course. If Dee Ford or Justin Houston get hurt again, he’s not a bad sub. Teammates rave about his leadership. I would rather have him than not have him ... maybe not at $8.5 million though.