The Kansas City Chiefs announced on Monday that the club has released linebacker Tamba Hali.
"Tamba has been a tremendous ambassador for our organization, both on and off the playing field," Chiefs Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt said. "His incredible work ethic and passion for the game helped make him one of the most successful pass rushers in franchise history. Tamba will always be a part of the Chiefs family, and we sincerely appreciate his contributions to the Chiefs and the Kansas City community over the last 12 seasons."
"I have a great deal of respect for Tamba and the amount of success he's had as a member of this franchise," General Manager Brett Veach said. "He's one of the greatest Chiefs pass rushers of all-time and has made a lasting impact on Chiefs Kingdom. We wish him the best as he continues his career."
"I'm grateful I had the privilege of working with Tamba and getting to know him on a personal level," Head Coach Andy Reid said. "His love for the game is incredible, and he's passed on that passion and his knowledge to a lot of our young players. I can see him being a coach one of these days. He's built a tremendous legacy here in Kansas City, and we wish him the best as he moves forward."
Hali (6-3, 275) originally entered the NFL as a first-round selection (20th overall) of the Kansas City Chiefs in the 2006 NFL Draft. He played in 177 games (157 starts) in his 12 seasons with the Chiefs, compiling 596 tackles (462 solo), 85 tackles for loss, 89.5 sacks (-591.5 yards), 33 forced fumbles and eight fumble recoveries. Hali had two career interceptions, returning one for a TD and also tallied one safety. He played in seven playoff games (four starts) with the club, recording 16 tackles (10 solo), 2.0 sacks (-8.0 yards), two forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.
The Teaneck, New Jersey, native's name appears a number of times throughout Chiefs record books, including finishing as the team's second all-time sack leader with 89.5 quarterback takedowns, behind only the late Derrick Thomas (126.5). Hali's 33 forced fumbles also rank second in franchise history behind Thomas (45). He is one of only 15 players in team history to play in over 175 games with the Chiefs. Hali's best statistical season was in 2010 when he recorded 14.5 sacks, one of three times in his career where he recorded double-digit sack totals. The Penn State alum earned five consecutive Pro Bowl selections from 2011-15. He was named the Chiefs Mack Lee Hill award winner in 2006 following his rookie season. Hali originally came to the United States after escaping from the war-torn African nation of Liberia when he was 10 years old.