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Long-term deal for Hali could be salary boost Chiefs need

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Recent posts by Eli Kaberon

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Posted June 30, 2011 @ 2:45 p.m. ET
By Eli Kaberon

Since a Collective Bargaining Agreement between the players and owners has yet to be agreed upon, it is unclear what the salary cap for the 2011 season will be. Whatever the cap is, there also will be a floor, which is the minimum amount a team has to spend on players for a season. According to the Associated Press, in 2009 — the last season the league played with a salary cap — the floor was $107.7 million and the maximum a team could spend was $128 million.

Some CBA projections have pegged the Chiefs as a team that actually will be under the expected floor when the league year starts, meaning the team will need to add some salary before the regular season begins. While signing an offensive lineman and acquiring another receiver are likely options, we hear the Chiefs could increase the cap number without even adding a player.

OLB Tamba Hali, who was offered the franchise tag before the lockout began, would like to sign an extension with Kansas City. Hali's agent, Brian Mackler, told PFW he was optimistic a multi-year contract could be worked out with the Chiefs once a salary cap is in place. Mackler said he was hopeful that a deal could be worked out in 2010, but once the owners decided to go with an uncapped year, many teams were fearful of agreeing to extensions without knowing the details of the next CBA.

Hali, who led the AFC with 14½ sacks last season, turns 28 years old in November, meaning he likely has several productive seasons ahead of him. The Chiefs will explore options to wisely add salary if they indeed are under the floor, but adding more up-front money to Hali's contract seems like a practical and sensible way to do so.

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