Chiefs release veteran LB Tamba Hali after 12 seasons

Tamba Hali‘s marvelous decade-plus run in Kansas City is over.

The Chiefs have released the veteran outside linebacker, a source informed of the situation told NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.

It’s a move reporters close to the team expected all along, with Hali turning 35 in December and set to save the Chiefs nearly $7.7 million with his departure.

The veteran pass-rusher battled knee issues in 2017 and largely operated as a nonfactor, appearing in just six games and failing to tally a sack. Not his best season, but Hali — the team’s first-round pick in 2006 — leaves Kansas City ranked second in club history behind Derrick Thomas with 89.5 career takedowns.

With Justin Houston, Dee Ford and Frank Zombo still under contract for 2018, Hali ultimately become expendable for a franchise looking to grow younger on defense.

It’s entirely possible Hali finds another opportunity at a reduced rate — pass-rushers are tough to pinpoint — but the Chiefs are finally moving on from one of their most celebrated stars of the 2000s.

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