Free agent linebacker Tamba Hali went through the nowadays version of the NFL car wash on Wednesday, beginning with Good Morning Football, stopping by an old friend in Nick Wright on First Things First and finishing up with an interview on SiriusXM NFL Radio.
Former Chiefs great Tamba Hali made the media rounds on Wednesday. pic.twitter.com/DpqunyVyW3— Arrowhead Pride (@ArrowheadPride) June 27, 2018
Hali interviewed with the various outlets to promote his new album, Tamba Juice, but the one item on every host’s mind was whether or not Hali is finished playing football.
The Kansas City Chiefs released Hali in mid-March after 12 seasons with the club, but a recent Instagram post on his official account generated a bit of doubt.
Again on Wednesday, there was no clear-cut, official answer.
First, on Good Morning Football:
“I love my Chiefs. I’m not leaving the Chiefs. I don’t want to play football for somebody else, but Andy (Reid) said if I want to come back to coach [in Kansas City], he’ll allow it, so I’m just having fun with music. What football brings—I’ve done 12 years. I don’t know if I want to continue. My body is wrecked, but I know I could still play the game if I choose, so I’m kind of leaving it up in the air.”
GMFB panelist and AP lobbyist Peter Schrager wanted to hear more about Hali’s desire to coach:
“I think that comes natural—I like working with kids, with people. I’ve always wanted to pass the knowledge that I received down. I got it from a guy named (martial arts master) Joe Kim as far as pass rushing hand technique. He used to work with me, so yeah. I see coaching down the line. I just don’t want to pursue it immediately. I’ve known football for 20 years.”
But then later in the day, on SiriusXM’s NFL Radio, Hali sounded more certain about calling it a career:
“I won’t lie. At times I want to play, at times I don’t want to play. When I go out—maybe play basketball, do some jiu-jitsu—I feel my body the way it feels, right now I’m thinking, I just need to continue to work out and do my music. I don’t want to focus too much on football. I don’t see myself getting back into football. I see myself being involved with the Chiefs somehow, maybe as a specialist, being able to teach the guys. But I don’t want to lie to myself, I think the time has come. 12 years in the league, AJ (Hawk), you know what I’m talking about. 12 years in the league, the type of work we put in, you can’t turn it back. You can’t turn the clock back. We wish was young again, but that time has passed. I’m happy where I am.”
Taking in the quotes from both interviews, it sounds like Hali would only play if it were for the Chiefs, and even still, he’s unsure if his body could take another season.
The Chiefs, in that case, would have to have mutual interest, which they have made clear they do not.
All the signs point to this being it as far as football for Hali, but I wouldn’t close the door until he makes it official himself. Football players have been known to have a change of heart when it comes to these types of decisions.