KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The vision of the Chiefs defense without a cornerstone player took a step closer to reality.
Outside linebacker Tamba Hali’s contract has been voided, a source familiar with the situation confirmed Saturday with ChiefsDigest.com and The Topeka Capital-Journal. The source spoke on the condition of anonymity because the Chiefs have not made an announcement.
The Chiefs had until March 4 to work on extending Hali, who agreed to a restructured contact in 2015 to provide the Chiefs cap relief, but the date passed without an extension.
Before the restructured deal last offseason, Hali was due to earn a base salary of $6.7 million in 2015. The re-worked deal essentially became a one-year contract with four voidable years.
The 32-year-old Hali earned a base salary of $870,000 in 2015 and was scheduled to earn a base salary of $985,000 in 2016, according to the NFLPA database.
Hali could still re-sign in Kansas City, and the Chiefs are the only NFL team he has played for since entering the league in 2006 as a first-round pick out of Penn State.
But barring a re-signing, Hali becomes an unrestricted free agent when the league’s calendar year begins on Wednesday, CBS Sports salary cap/contract expert Joel Corry, a former NFL agent, explained in a text message exchange.
Hali battled through knee inflammation the past season, totaling 48 tackles (39 solo) and 6 ½ sacks to earn a fifth-straight Pro Bowl selection. He has 86 sacks on his career with the Chiefs.
The Chiefs are set for a transition at the outside linebacker position after entering the offseason with Hali, Justin Houston, Dee Ford, Frank Zombo, Dezman Moses and Cameron Gordon on the roster.
In addition to potentially losing Hali, the Chiefs could lose Zombo and Moses, both of whom are scheduled to become unrestricted free agents.