Kansas City Chiefs outside linebacker Tamba Hali (91) Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports
Now before you decide to gather a posse and go for my head, hear me out. The reason I put Tamba Hali on this list is because he’s more renowned for what he did in years past when in all fairness, his production is slipping.
I’m not saying he’s a bad player, but last season may have been a wake-up call to all of us fans that the chance to see Hali in his younger years. In 2014, Hali posted his lowest number of sacks in a season since 2008 with six sacks.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that he’s becoming less of a player, but when you account for the fact he’s now 31 years old, the odds aren’t really pointing in his favor.
While Hali is still one of the best pass rushers in this league, he’s definitely on the other side of his prime.
Tamba Hali still has the strength to bully opposing offensive linemen or blocking tight ends, but the speed he used to get around the edge is beginning to dwindle, primarily due to his increasing edge.
Another big reason that his production might be decreasing is because the level of production we’ve all began to see out of fellow linebacker Justin Houston. While Hali might be solid, he has mainly been a distraction to offensive lines to let Houston through and wreak havoc.
While Hali is still one of the best pass rushers in this league, he’s definitely on the other side of his prime. He’s about to enter his tenth season in the league and as we’ve all seen with past players, they tend to start fading out once they get past the tenth year.
Since Hali is starting to get up there in age, look for second year man, Dee Ford, to start getting in the mix a little bit more. The last few years of Tamba’s newly restructured contract will most likely be used to coach up Ford into being Hali’s successor.
Whether he drops in production or goes out with a huge bang, Tamba Hali will forever be one of my favorite players to ever wear the red and gold.
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