The Kansas City Chiefs announced on Wednesday that LB Tamba Hali has been given the franchise tag. The news doesn't come as a surprise since we expected the Chiefs to tag Hali if they couldn't work out a long-term deal. Chiefs GM Scott Pioli was quoted in the team-issued release that the two sides hope to work out a long-term deal:
"Tamba is a key contributor to our football team, and we have a tremendous amount of respect for him both personally and professionally," General Manager Scott Pioli said. "We want Tamba to remain a member of the Chiefs, and we will continue to work together with the hope of reaching a long-term agreement."
The big picture news is that both sides want him in Kansas City and I suspect that will happen. There are some other details and questions involved in this though.
First, was this the exclusive or non-exclusive franchise tag? The non-exclusive variety would allow him to talk to other teams. Ultimately, though, I don't think this one matters a whole lot because both sides want him to be in Kansas City.
Second, will there even be a franchise tag next year? The NFL says teams can franchise tag players from February 10-24. The NFLPA, though, says the franchise tag is "meaningless" without a new CBA in place next year. This is something that will be determined but I think most feel that the franchise tag concept will make its way into the next labor deal.
Third, what's the timetable on getting a new deal done? Are they waiting on the new CBA to be signed? Are they simply buying more time? I'm not sure I'd be buying the idea of the Chiefs waiting out the CBA. Though Hali's deal will be bigger, GM Scott Pioli did several long-term deals midseason and didn't use the labor deal as an excuse, as other teams did.