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The Chiefs have released one of their career sack leaders Adidas Bo Horvat 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, which his salary cap number of $17 million Justin Bethel Color Rush Jersey , 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, 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 Customized Oakland Raiders Jerseys , 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.”
See ya, Sid. Hello, Jack Eichel.
Once the shock of being traded wore off, Conor Sheary put aside his past of playing alongside Pittsburgh Penguins captain Sidney Crosby, and began eagerly looking ahead to what might be in store with the Buffalo Sabres.
”I wasn’t expecting it, but at the same time you have to look at the positives,” Sheary said Thursday, a day after the Buffalo gave up a conditional fourth-round draft pick to acquire him and defenseman Matt Hunwick.
”I have to put my Pittsburgh years behind me now Jaguars Authentic Jerseys ,” the third-year NHL forward said. ”I’m super excited with the new chapter in my life.”
In Buffalo, Sheary gets the opportunity to recreate his role as a play-making, two-way forward on a line centered by Eichel.
”When you’re playing with a guy like that, you kind of try to get him the puck as much as you can,” Sheary said.
”I think a big part of my game is creating turnovers and getting chances for my linemates,” he added. ”Hopefully, we can create some chemistry there. It’ll be awesome and maybe we’ll grow something with that.”
With two years left on his contract, Sheary was the odd-man out in Pittsburgh, which freed up $5.25 million in salary cap space in trading both players. The Penguins quickly used some of the savings to re-sign forward Riley Sheahan to a $2.1 million, one-year contract.
The Sabres, by comparison, lack play-making depth at their top-line wing positions, especially after trading Evander Kane to San Jose in February. Buffalo’s top three centers and Kane accounted for scoring 94 of the team’s league-worst 199 goals last season.
Five-on-five production was also an issue cited by general manager Jason Botterill as the reason he acquired Sheary. All but eight of Sheary’s 95 points in 184 career games have come in even-strength situations.
Another benefit for the rebuilding Sabres was adding a two-time Stanley Cup winner to a team that has finished last in three of the past five seasons.
”I think if I can just bring a little of that playoff experience to the locker room and try to change the culture, that’ll be a good thing,” said Sheary Isaiah Oliver Color Rush Jersey , who credited Crosby for being a mentor. ”He definitely taught me a lot. And I’ll definitely take that and use that to my advantage moving forward.”
Botterill previously served as the Penguins assistant GM and had a hand in signing Sheary, who was a late bloomer in part because scouts considered him too small at 5-foot-8 and 175 pounds. Undrafted after completing his college career at UMass, he signed an amateur tryout contract with the Penguins’ AHL affiliate in March 2014.
Two year later, Sheary made his NHL debut and eventually scored six goals, including a winner, and 10 points during Pittsburgh’s first of two championship runs.
After scoring 23 goals and 53 points in 61 games in 2016-17, Sheary’s production dropped last year, when he finished with 18 goals and 30 points in 79 games.
Sheary blamed the drop-off on a lapse in confidence that lead to a midseason slump in which he had three goals and six assists in 35 games. He closed the year with six goals and two assists in his final 15 games.
”I think toward the end of the year I finally found myself again,” he said. ”Although I didn’t score in the playoffs, I felt as though I was contributing. Hopefully, I can build on that going forward.”