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Tamba Hali’s agent says ball in Chiefs’ court on new contract

With linebacker Derrick Johnson locked up for five more years, will the Chiefs’ next move in shoring up their defense be to work out a long-term deal with linebacker Tamba Hali?

Hali’s agent says that’s up to the Chiefs.

“Tamba has stated to me on numerous occasions that he’d like to retire a Kansas City Chief,” Brian Mackler, Hali’s agent, told the Kansas City Star. “I had discussions with the Chiefs at the beginning of the season, and we both agreed we’d wait to see how the season progressed for the Chiefs and for Tamba. The ball is in their court.”

Hali, who leads the team with eight sacks, is in the final year of the contract he signed in 2006 as the 20th overall pick in the draft. With every additional sack he gets, he’s increasing the leverage he’ll have as a free agent in 2011.