Former Chiefs linebacker Tamba Hali inches closer to retirement
After spending all 12 years of his NFL career with the Kansas City Chiefs, linebacker Tamba Hali was cut by the franchise in March. Initially, it appeared that Hali was considering continuing his career with a new team, but that’s no longer the case.
Hali hasn’t formally announced his retirement, but in an interview with Sirius XM NFL Radio on Wednesday, he admitted that “the time has come” to walk away from the game.
“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. I don’t want to lie to myself. I think the time has come.”
In the interview, Hali said there are days where he feels like returning to the field, but most of the time he has no desire to do so. Instead, he wants to spend more time with his four kids and work on making music.
After being selected 20th overall in the 2006 NFL Draft by Kansas City, Hali reached five Pro Bowls and made the second-team All-Pro squad twice. His best two-year stretch came in 2010-2011 when Hali averaged 58.5 tackles and 13.25 sacks (he recorded another 11 sacks in 2013).
Until 2017, Hali never missed more than one game through his first 11 NFL seasons. Last season, he didn’t begin practicing until November after missing the first two months of the campaign with an undisclosed injury. In the five games he played, Hali only made one tackle.
In addition to trading away Alex Smith to allow Patrick Mahomes to become the new starting quarterback, the Chiefs overhauled their defense this offseason. The pressure will be on Eric Berry and Justin Houston to lead a relatively young unit in what should be a tough AFC West division.