Chiefs release veteran Tamba Hali, clear $7.7 million in cap room

Report Jets interested in S Ron Parker following Chiefs release

NFL Insider Adam Schefter reported on Monday that the Chiefs are cutting Hali, who went to five Pro Bowls over 12 seasons with the team.

The team has not yet confirmed. With the addition of Hali to that list of former players, the team's locker room is going to be dramatically different in 2018-one that is going to need a new set of leaders to emerge in the process.

Since the 2006 season, Hali has racked up more than 89 sacks in more than 175 career games. Hali had signed a 3-year, $21 million extension as recently as 2016, and a cap hit of almost $9.4 million this coming season simply wasn't anything the Chiefs could afford to stomach. But it's a disappointment if those moves by the Chiefs turn out to be in vain. The Chiefs will also save a bit of money when their trade of cornerback Marcus Peters to the Rams for two more draft picks becomes official. Their defense was bad last season - it ruined what could have been a good thing for the Chiefs - and something had to be done. The five-time Pro-Bowler played limited snaps in only five games for the Chiefs in 2017.

Make no mistake: The Chiefs had aged considerably on defense the past couple of years, especially in the linebacker corps, where Johnson and Hali had been the foundation for years. 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.

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A stud end at Penn State, he had been a stalwart for the franchise at linebacker.

When asked in January what his plans were for the future, Hali acknowledged he was "leaning more toward" retirement but wanted to leave the door open to returning for another season.

The 30-year-old Parker should have plenty of suitors in free agency.

Defensive improvement could rest on what the Chiefs get done in free agency.

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