According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, one of the reason why the Chiefs elected to use their No. 23 overall pick on Auburn DE/OLB Dee Ford was because Pro Bowl OLB Tamba Hali weighed in at 284 pounds last Friday.
Just for the sake of perspective, that is 20 pounds over his optimal playing weight.
Many assumed the Chiefs would use that pick on a receiver like USC’s Marquise Lee, so it was at least a bit of a surprise to see them go with an edge rusher given that they have a pretty strong tandem.
This move could be interrupted as Kansas City trying to motivate Hali to get into better shape at some point in near future.
Hali, 30, is entering the fourth year of his five-year, $57.5 million contract that included $35 million guaranteed. He’ll make $6.25 million for the 2014 season and another $6.75 million in 2015.
Hali counts $11.46 million against the teams 2014 salary cap, but they could free up $5.53 million by releasing him outright, according to OverTheCap.com.
Last year, Hali appeared in 15 games for the Chiefs and totaled 45 tackles, 11 sacks, four forced fumbles, two recoveries and an interception returned for a touchdown.
Pro Football Focus rated Hali as the No. 6 outside linebacker in a 3-4 system last season.
That kind of production is actually very hard to come by, so I’m sure they actually buy into the idea that you can never enough pass rushers over trying to push Hali out. It will be interesting to see what their plans are for Hali, Ford and Justin Houston heading into the season.