Tamba Hali said he believes his days as a NFL player are over ... but perhaps not his association with the Chiefs.
In an interview with SiriusXM NFL Radio, which aired on Wednesday, Hali said, “At times I want to play, at times I don’t want to play.
“I don’t see myself getting back into football. I see myself being involved with the Chiefs somehow, maybe as a specialist, being able to teach the guys. But I don’t want to lie to myself. I think the time has come.
“Twelve years in the league, the type of work we put in. You can’t turn the clock back … the time has passed. I’m happy where I am.”
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If that’s the case, Hali, who was released by the Chiefs in March, will have ended his career as one of the team’s most productive defensive players. His 89 1/2 sacks over 12 years rank second in club history to Derrick Thomas.
The Chiefs cleared $7.7 in cap space by releasing Hali, 34. He’s been battling knee problems over the past few seasons and appeared in only five games last year.
Hali is a five-time Pro Bowler and a cinch to one day be enshrined in the Chiefs’ Ring of Honor.
Hali, who also has been working on a musical career, seemed to leave open the possibility of a return to football a few days earlier when he announced on social media that he was “stepping away from music,” and included an Instagram photo of himself pursuing former Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning. “I’m coming this time will be different,” read the post.
In another interview Wednesday, this one on NFL Network’s Good Morning Football, Hali added to the Patrick Mahomes fever by comparing him to a former great.
“You're going to get a complete player," Hali said. "I mean, he's a smart player. He can throw the ball. Athletically, he's gifted. You don't have to coach it.
"In practice I'd watch him just look guys off. I mean, Eric Berry, you look him off and complete the ball. He did it to Marcus Peters a lot. So, people don't know what's coming. I don't want to hype him, but I compare him to Brett Favre. He runs around the field and he throws the ball and he's just having fun.”