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|The Chiefs have released one of their career sack leaders Jared Spurgeon Jersey , Tamba Hali, and veteran stalwart of their secondary, Ron Parker, moves designed to help Kansas City get younger on defense and have some financial freedom for the start of free agency.
The Chiefs parted ways with longtime linebacker Hali on Monday. The move was hardly a surprise given his decreased production.
Safety Parker, who had missed just one game over the past four seasons and provided some stability when Eric Berry was injured last season, also was waived.
Hali was due a base salary of $5,750,000 this season with a salary cap hit of more than $9 million, and his release will only cost them about $1.7 million in dead money. Parker’s release saves about $5.3 million against the salary cap.
”I thank the greatest fans in the world (hash)ChiefsKingdom for 12 incredible years,” Hali posted on Twitter. ”I also want to thank the (at)Chiefs organization for believing in me from the beginning. All the support during my career in Kansas City has been overwhelming and KC will always be special to me.”
The Chiefs were strapped for cash heading into the offseason, necessitating moves on several fronts. They’ve already voided the contract of linebacker Derrick Johnson, their career tackles leader, to save about $8 million, and released cornerback Darrelle Revis to save $4.5 million.
They’ll save some more when the new league year begins Wednesday. That’s when the trade of Alex Smith Womens Derek Dorsett Jersey , which his salary cap number of $17 million, to the Redskins for cornerback Kendall Fuller and a draft pick, becomes official. 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.
The Chiefs only rolled over about $2.6 million in salary cap space from last season, so freeing up space to address their leaky defense – and perhaps help new quarterback Patrick Mahomes II with some offensive weapons – was of paramount importance for new general manager Brett Veach.
”You look at every situation and every position group and if it makes sense from a structural standpoint, a schematic standpoint and also a cap standpoint,” Veach said during last week’s scouting combine in Indianapolis. ”And it really is just the schematic standpoint and the cap standpoint along with the age, and if you get all those things pointing in the right direction, you go that route.”
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.
Hali was the 20th overall pick in the 2006 draft out of Penn State, started every game as a rookie and never really looked back. He became a fan-favorite and went to five consecutive Pro Bowls beginning with the 2011 season, when he had 12 sacks and forced four fumbles.
He combined to add 20 more sacks over the next couple seasons, but the decline soon began for the 34-year-old pass rusher. He started just two of 16 games during the 2016 season, when knee pain caught up to him Youth Jerome Baker Jersey , and only appeared in five games last season after beginning the year on the PUP list.
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.
He has plenty of interests away from football, including a hip-hop recording company.
”Tamba has been a tremendous ambassador for our organization, both on and off the playing field,” Chiefs owner 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.”
The 30-year-old Parker should have plenty of suitors in free agency. He made 279 tackles, seven sacks and picked off nine passes after finally getting his break with Kansas City.
”It was great playing in front of the fans in Arrowhead and with some of the best teammates,” he said on Twitter. ”Now it’s time for me to move on. I look forward to this new journey and chapter.”
Parker’s age combined with his cost for next season ultimately forced his release.
”It’s kind of today’s world in the NFL,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said during the combine, when asked about their desire to get younger. ”Guys change teams and move. We think we have some good young players and feel comfortable with them.”
Terrell Owens has decided to celebrate his induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame at Chattanooga, where he played college football.
The former NFL All-Pro receiver, who has said he was not attending the induction ceremony in Canton, Ohio, released a statement on Tuesday saying he would give his acceptance speech at his alma mater.
”I have decided to give my Hall of Fame speech at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga in McKenzie Arena on Saturday http://www.officialblackhawksproshop.com/authentic-adidas-artem-anisimov-jersey , August 4,” Owens posted on Twitter. ”The event, which is free and open to the public, starts at 3:17 p.m.”
Owens added that he is ”proud to be a Moc, and I’m honored to be able to share this experience with my family, friends, teammates and fans at the place that provided me an opportunity beyond high school and where I truly began to find myself as an athlete.”
The 44-year-old Owens said he is looking forward to the event, and ”Getcha popcorn ready.”
Owens was a three-sport athlete at Chattanooga, where he played football from 1992-95. He also played basketball and ran track for the Mocs. Owens said he ”realized just how much I want to celebrate what will inevitably be the best weekend of my life at a place that means so much to me.”
He was voted into the hall in February after being denied in his first two years of eligibility. His announcement last month that he was skipping the Aug. 4 induction ceremony at the Pro Football Hall of Fame is unprecedented by an enshrinee.
In a statement released last month by his publicist, Owens said: ”While I am incredibly appreciative of this opportunity, I have made the decision to publicly decline my invitation to attend the induction ceremony in Canton.
”After visiting Canton earlier this year, I came to the realization that I wish to celebrate what will be one of the most memorable days of my life, elsewhere,” Owens added. ”At a later date Lance Kendricks Jersey , I will announce where and when I will celebrate my induction.”
Chattanooga athletic director Mark Wharton said Tuesday that Owens first spoke with school officials ”several months ago” about the possibility of having some type of event in Chattanooga. At the time, Owens hadn’t yet indicated he was skipping the Canton induction ceremony.
Wharton said Owens spoke with them again ”two to three weeks ago” about the possibility of giving his induction speech on campus and that officials were ”ecstatic” about the idea.
”Obviously we supported him going to Canton,” Wharton said. ”At the time, there hadn’t been any living Hall of Fame members who did not go to Canton, so our assumption was that he was (going to Canton). But in multiple conversations with him and his team, he felt most comfortable doing it in a place that molded him into the player and person he is today.”
Wharton said the specifics of the Aug. 4 ceremony haven’t been finalized, but he expects a weekend full of events around town honoring Owens.
Owens entered the league as a third-round pick by San Francisco in 1996 and developed into a star known for some memorable playoff appearances, including his winning 25-yard TD catch to beat Green Bay in 1999; his 177 yards in a comeback win against the Giants in 2003; and his nine catches for 122 yards in the 2004 Super Bowl against New England just seven weeks after breaking his leg.
He ranks second to Jerry Rice with 15,934 yards receiving and is third on the all-time touchdowns receiving list with 153.
Owens heavily criticized the voting process when he failed to be elected in 2016 and 2017. Among the reasons he fell short were his being considered a divisive teammate and negative presence in the locker room.
AP Pro Football Writer Barry Wilner contributed to this report.
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