The news isn't exactly surprising but the Kansas City Chiefs are expected to franchise tag LB Tamba Hali if they can't work a long-term deal out. Players generally don't like the franchise tag because it strips them of any long-term security but in this situation I think both sides are working towards a deal.
With labor uncertainty in our future, doing a long-term deal isn't the easiest thing in the world and many teams have shied away from it. The Chiefs, though, under GM Scott Pioli, have done several contract extensions including LB Derrick Johnson and RB Jamaal Charles so they've shown they can get deals done.
Jason La Canfora of NFL Network reports that the Chiefs may franchise tag Hali -- franchise tag period opens on February 10 and runs to February 24 -- as they work on getting a long-term deal done.
Steelers outside linebacker LaMarr Woodley and Kansas City's Tamba Hali are both seeking the deal DeMarcus Warereceived from the Cowboys. The 30-percent rule and some other factors have made that difficult, but neither will be going anywhere. Both will be tagged, if nothing else. The Chiefs held some exploratory talks with Hali at the Senior Bowl, and perhaps could get something done before March 4.
Ware signed a six-year, $78 million extension with the Cowboys in 2009 after leading the league in sacks in 2008. Hali, as you know, was just short of becoming the NFL's sack leader. Ware's deal included $40 million guaranteed and $45 million paid out in the first three years. Those are the numbers to remember.
Considering the labor uncertainty and the size this contract could potentially be, I'm surprised both sides have kept so quiet. For Chiefs fans, that's great news because, on the surface at least, it suggests both sides want to get something done and they don't want to antagonize anyone in the media.