Chiefs set to release Tamba Hali

Kansas City Chiefs outside linebacker Tamba Hali takes the field for introduction before an NFL divisional playoff football game between the Kansas City Chiefs and the Pittsburgh Steelers Sunday Jan. 15 2017 in Kansas City Mo. (AP

This season, he has 67 tackles and picked off two passes. There will be no 13th season.

While it was an expected move by National Football League analysts and fans alike, it's still a bit hard to stomach the idea of the Kansas City Chiefs defense without Tamba Hali being a part of it.

Hali, a first-round pick of the team in 2006, has battled balky knees the last few years.

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Kansas City is up against the cap as of this moment and high-priced defensive veterans were speculated about in terms of coming casualties.

The Chiefs released linebacker Derrick Johnson after 14 seasons earlier this offseason and agreed to trade cornerback Marcus Peters to the Los Angeles Rams at the end of February. The 30-year-old has been a starter the past four years.

Other numbers on Hali's stat-line include 453 tackles, eight fumble recoveries, one safety, two interceptions, one touchdown and a remarkable 33 forced fumbles, most of which came on strip sacks.

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His 32 tackles previous year matched the fewest since his 2009 rookie season with Miami. Smith was signed as a big-ticket free agent in 2016 to a four-year, $38 million deal.

Hali didn't record a sack and his release will save Kansas City $7M, but will incur a dead money hit of $1.7M.

It will be interesting to see if Hali drums up any interest as a free agent.

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