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Report: Tamba Hali 20 pounds over “optimal playing weight”

Houston Texans v Kansas City Chiefs

KANSAS CITY, MO - OCTOBER 20: Quarterback Case Keenum #7 of the Houston Texans fumbles as he is sacked by linebacker Tamba Hali #91 of the Kansas City Chiefs during the fourth quarter on October 20, 2013 at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Peter Aiken/Getty Images)

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The Chiefs took Dee Ford with the 23rd pick of the first round on Thursday night, adding him to a collection of edge rushers that already includes Justin Houston and Tamba Hali.

Beyond the eternal need for pass rushing and Ford’s demonstrated skill at it at Auburn, one reason to go that route is Hali’s contract. The Chiefs can save a bundle under the cap by parting ways with Hali after the 2014 season so it makes sense to start grooming a replacement.

Adam Schefter of ESPN reports that another reason is that Hali reported to offseason work overweight. According to the report, Hali weighed 284 pounds to leave himself 20 pounds over his “optimal playing weight.” There isn’t a game for a long time and Hali isn’t the first player to put on some weight during the offseason, so this may be a moot point by the time September rolls around.

In May, though, the need to light a fire under a heavier Hali may have helped tip the scales in Ford’s favor with the Chiefs.