Former Kansas City Chiefs pass-rusher Tamba Hali is back with the Chiefs, though just for one day. The five-time Pro Bowler is signing a one-day contract to officially retire as a member of the Chiefs
Announced on the Chiefs' Twitter account on Monday, the announcement officially marks the end of Hali's decorated 12-year career.
In his 12 years with the Chiefs (from 2006-2017), Hali racked up 89.5 sacks and 159 quarterback hits along with 33 forced fumbles, two interceptions and a safety. From 2009-2011, Hali was one of the league's best rushers, recording 35 sacks and 65 quarterback hits in 48 games.
Hali's 89.5 sacks are good for second-most for any Chiefs pass-rusher in history, behind Derrick Thomas (126.5) and ahead of Neil Smith (85.5) and Justin Houston (78.5). Chris Jones is the Chiefs' leading active sacker with 40.5, putting him in line to surpass Art Still (42.5), Jared Allen (43) and Eric Hicks (44.5) in the near future.
Hali started at least 15 games every season from 2006-2014 and started 14 in 2015, completing a decade-long run of durability as an excellent pass-rusher. In 2016, Hali saw a more part-time role before struggling to get on the field due to injury in 2017. The Chiefs released Hali after the 2017 season and he never caught on elsewhere. Now, he'll be able to retire — under contract — as a member of the Chiefs, capping off an illustrious career.
Hali, who was born in Gbanga, Liberia, was the Chiefs' first-round draft pick in the 2006 draft, selected 20th overall.
In 2014, Hali partnered with Kansas City-based Heart to Heart International to help fight the Ebola crisis, specifically in his home country of Liberia. Sports Illustrated published a story about Hali's work in 2014 and Hali explained why the work was so urgent at the time.
“We can’t really wait on this,” Hali said on Wednesday before the Chiefs hit the field to practice for Sunday’s game at San Diego. “I’d be the first one to tell you that every time I do charity work, I like to do it on the hush-hush and help people quietly. But there are some matters—like this—that are way bigger than me. All I can do is lend my help in ways I know I can.
“This is not a type of disease you can contract and then there are vaccines and it goes away. People are dying within weeks and within the first month of contact. So we have to act now.”
The story also quoted Chiefs head coach Andy Reid, who made his view of Hali's work and personality very clear.
“This is the kind of person Tamba is,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. “When I came here I asked him to be more of a team leader, and he jumped right in. Tamba jumped right in to this too. He’s going to help save lives.”