Tamba Hali's contract with the Kansas City Chiefs has voided today, making the 32-year old star defensive end a free agent. The Chiefs had reworked Hali's contract last season to spread out his signing bonus to give them more cap space, but per the terms of the contract, unless an extension had been worked out by March 4, the contract would void. Well, March 4 came and went and Hali is a free man.
While the Chiefs I'm sure would love to have Hali back in the fold, they will be hard-pressed to do so. They have only $18.75M in cap space and want to sign other free agents of theirs, including MLB Derrick Johnson, DT Jaye Howard, S Hussain Abdullah, QB Chase Daniel and S Tyvon Branch. Looking at their situation it seems Hali has priced himself out of their market, and they have so many free agents they could well lose most of their team.
Their loss could be the Raiders' gain. While Hali has struggled with knee injuries the last couple of years, he has still been productive on the field, racking up 6.5 sacks last season while being a major piece on one of the best defenses in the league. He could easily slide into the veteran leadership void left by the retirement of Justin Tuck and likely be an even better player.
A potential midseason front seven including Hali, Khalil Mack, Mario Edwards Jr. and Aldon Smith would be frightening to opposing quarterbacks and could well be one of the best in the league regardless of who else the Raiders sign or draft. Make no mistake, Hali will have plenty of suitors, but if the Raiders want him they can make an offer Hali will not be able to refuse.
The NFL's 2016 free agency period begins Wednesday, March 9 at 1 PM Pacific Time.