Chiefs release veteran LB Tamba Hali after 12 seasons

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

The Chiefs released the veteran outside linebacker on Monday, the team announced.

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.

"I'm grateful I had the privilege of working with Tamba and getting to know him on a personal level," coach Andy Reid said in a statement. "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."

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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