On Friday, the contract for Chiefs outside linebacker Tamba Hali voided, meaning that Kansas City will be on the hook for $4 million in dead money this year and, more importantly, that Hali will be a free agent next week.
Hali has made five Pro Bowls, earning the recognition in each of the past five seasons. In his ten year career with the Chiefs, he has played in 156 games and has recorded 428 tackles, 86 sacks, 33 forced fumbles, seven fumble recoveries, 16 passes defensed, and two touchdowns. He has been a disruptive pass rusher for the Chiefs over the past several seasons, proving to be a valuable part of the defense.
Of course, with that said, there are some concerns with the 32-year old Hali, particularly when it comes to durability. As Arrowhead Pride's Joel Thorman wrote recently:
This reads like they believe Tamba can be a DeMarcus Ware type of pass rusher who comes in and makes a big impact late in his career. While I do believe Tamba can still make an impact, it's on a smaller scale. Tamba didn't just break down at the end of last season, something similar happened in each of the two seasons before that. Use him the right away, conservatively, and he can help your team. The Chiefs with Dee Ford know this better than anyone. But you're playing with fire by relying on Tamba as an every down player at this point in his career.
For the Colts, it's no secret that they need pass rush help - desperately. Trent Cole last year didn't work out, and the Colts could save $6.125 million by cutting him this offseason. Robert Mathis was the team's most reliable pass rusher last year, but he's 35 years old and shouldn't have to carry the position. Jonathan Newsome disappeared in 2015 and was recently released. Bjoern Werner... well, let's just say that hasn't worked out either. Furthermore, Colts general manager Ryan Grigson noted at the NFL Combine that this year's group of pass rushers in the NFL Draft isn't as strong, so while the Colts may be able to address the area in the draft, it's no certainty.
So, the question obviously becomes whether the Colts should go after Tamba Hali in free agency. I think many Colts fans could have reservations about the move, as it would be a very similar move to the signing of Trent Cole last year - who was a 32-year old pass rusher with 85.5 career sacks in ten seasons and recorded 6.5 sacks in the previous season upon signing with the Colts. Hali is a 32-year old pass rusher with 86 career sacks in ten seasons and recorded 6.5 sacks in the previous season - in other words, a very similar resume. That doesn't at all mean that they're the same situation, however, as Hali still has shown that he can be a contributor, but it's worth noting. Arrowhead Pride seems to think that Hali could contribute when in a situational pass rush role, and depending on the price, that would be something the Colts should look into. But they also need to be wary of free agency and of the Trent Cole signing to realize that it's no sure thing. For the right price, then, I think it would be a move worth looking into for Indianapolis, but they shouldn't overspend for Tamba Hali in free agency.