Chiefs Slap Tamba With Franchise Tag

Joining a chorus of NFL teams that have used the franchise player tag this week, the Chiefs have placed the designation on OLB Tamba Hali.

The move does not come as a surprise, given that Hali does not have a contract for the 2011 season. Whether he would be an unrestricted free agent will depend on the outcome of the negotiations for a new labor agreement. The franchise tag tender is worth a one-year deal for $10.2 million based on the top contracts among outside linebackers in the 2010 season.

This all becomes moot on March 4 when the NFL begins life without a collective bargaining agreement. At that point from what we know now, the franchise designation is meaningless. The Chiefs had until next Wednesday to apply the tag.

Hali is the seventh player to receive the franchise player tag in the last week. He joins QBs Peyton Manning (Indianapolis) and Michael Vick (Philadelphia), DL Haloti Ngata (Baltimore), LB David Harris (NY Jets), G Logan Mankins (New England) and WR Vincent Jackson (San Diego).

“Tamba is a key contributor to our football team, and we have a tremendous amount of respect for him both personally and professionally,” GM Scott Pioli said in a team release. “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 last time the Chiefs used the franchise player tag was with DE Jared Allen in 2008. Eventually, they traded Allen to Minnesota for four draft choices.

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