January 25, 2014; Honolulu, HI, USA; Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Justin Houston (50) and cornerback Brandon Flowers (24) during the 2014 Pro Bowl Ohana Day at Aloha Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Attention Turns To Justin Houston Saga

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With the Brandon Flowers riddle now solved for the Kansas City Chiefs, the attention turns to Justin Houston and his desired contract extension.

Mandatory minicamp beings tomorrow at Arrowhead and the presence of Houston will say a lot about where the Houston is in his talks with the Chiefs about a new contract. Retaining Houston now becomes a serious priority for the Chiefs now that they have opened up future cap space to presumable afford the heft contracts Houston and quarterback Alex Smith will command.

In terms of what it would mean to the Chiefs if Houston did not show up for mandatory minicamp, it’s little. If anything, it gives rookie Dee Ford more snaps with the first-string defense to learn his new position. We’re talking about three practices in shorts and no pads, Houston missing those three days won’t mean much for him or the team in the long run. Certainly having everyone on hand reduces the drama of the situation but getting Ford more experience may be worth the media distraction during the week.

Things start to get dicey if Houston misses a significant portion or all of training camp. Kansas City is going to need to figure out some new elements to their pass rush for when they have Ford, Houston, and Tamba Hali all on the field at the same time. Add in the difficulty of the Chiefs early schedule and the need for everyone to be on the same page and ready to go only increases.

One would hope the negotiations between Houston and the Chiefs go smoothly enough that they have some sort of a contract agreement before or shortly after the start of camp. With Flowers contract out of the picture and the return of cap flexibility coming in 2016, Kansas City should easily be able to structure a contract that treats Houston fairly and puts the team in a good position financially. Unlike Smith, it is quite obvious the Chiefs want and need to keep Houston in Kansas City. That motivation should be enough to get a deal done quickly.

Still, the unknown looms with the Houston negations. We’ve got an idea of what Smith may be targeting and understand the issues surrounding his contract. However, things have been very quiet from the Houston camp. The way this offseason is going in the minds of some Chiefs fans, silence (and potentially absence) may strike more fear than calm.

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Tags: Justin Houston Kansas City Chiefs Popular

  • berttheclock

    Joel Thurman believes the figures will be in the range of the contracts to Lamar Woodley and Clay Matthews and better than the one Paul Kruger signed. This means in the neighborhood of a 5 year, $55 M with a $20 M guaranteed deal. Now, that is a very nice and very respectable neighborhood which for what ever reason has Red Lined me. I can’t even get past the gate.

    • Tony Parker

      If that’s the price to pay for a pass rusher then it must be done. Remember when they slapped the franchise tag on Jarad Allen, he was so pissed that he left for greener pastures. Can’t have that happen again.

      • A1 Yola

        Jared couldn’t stand Herm Edwards!!

        • Tony Parker

          Who could??

      • Chuck Burrell

        He was traded

        • Tony Parker

          Because he refused to play without a new contract. He didn’t want to be franchised. A contract is security in case of career ending injury.

      • KCMikeG

        The Chiefs didn’t want to risk a long term contract since he had just gotten his 2nd DUI.

        • Tony Parker

          Perhaps Mike but Jarad made it clear that if he got franchised instead of a nice contract then he was demanding to be traded.
          Now with the Houston situation, I would resign him now rather than next year when he becomes a free agent.

          • berttheclock

            Yes, he was franchised in February and traded in April. But, look at what the Chiefs gained. They picked up the services of Albert for several years and Jamaal Charles. Allen signed the then richest deal for a DE. $72.36 six year with $15.5 guaranteed. Funny thing about that 15.5 is that is the same guarantee he received from the Bears when, he left Minnesota and signed for $32 M. However, as I mentioned above, Emory of the Bears slipped in a 3 year termination clause in case Allen’s age catches up with him. He no longer has the first step moves he possessed with both the Chiefs and Vikings. His sacks, now, are of the team sack variety.

        • micah stephenson

          I wish we would have kept Allen. He kept put n up huge sack #s. One yr I looked and he was around 20 sacks! He never got into anymore trouble with minn.

          • berttheclock

            Without the trade to the Vikings, the Chiefs would not have Jamaal Charles.

            But, Jared’s career is on the wane. The new contract with Chicago is for $32 M with $15,5 of that guaranteed. However, they put in a 3 year option clause, where he could be dumped.

      • micah stephenson

        Yea losing JA hurted. We can’t have one of the lgs best Pass Rushers who is young and still get n better get away.

    • Stan Colbert

      With the projected increases to the cap I could see this being a very messy affair!

    • mattU

      I think 6 years $60Mil is fair given he’s under contract for $400K this year: something like $3Mil base in 2014 and 2015, $15Mil signing bonus, and $10Mil avg base the final 4 years. Hali will probably be cut or traded next year freeing up $10Mil on top of any cap increases and Flowers’ $7.5Mil, so they should have enough left after Houston’s contract to still work out something with Smith.

    • micah stephenson

      I hate saying I agree with you. Lol. But yea 5 yrs 55 mill should b middle ground on this. Houston starts at 12 mill, chiefs cheap asses start 9 mill or lower, even tho the should not even walk in the room with an offer less than 10 mill a yr, so mayby 10 mill on the low side, 12 on the high. Sign for 11 and lets go to work.

  • Nick the Kick

    His contract should be commiserate with the best olbs in the league because that’s what he is.

  • A1 Yola

    It will be so funny if He accepts a deal somewhere else! Jared Allen got 65 from Minnesota, Haynesworth got 80 from Washington, Houston isn’t going to accept peanuts! So, how many players are the Chiefs gonna can so they can sign 1?!

    • tom

      Chiefs!!!

  • berttheclock

    As an insurance policy, considering the possibility of further injuries to, either, Hali, Houston or both, sign Quentin Groves. Linebackers are at a premium at the moment in the NFL with a growing list of injured players or off the field issues as well. Excellent thread at CBS Sports about June being the month to add backups.

  • thabear04

    He should get something like Hali had got when he resign with us.

  • micah stephenson

    Pay the man. Give him a 5 yr 50-55 mill deal and call it the day.

  • e_racer

    Houston is a very good player. He should get a new contract, even though he is contracted to play through this current season. It is not likely that Houston will hold out for the entire year. The Chiefs are in a strong position, especially since they used their first selection to draft Dee Ford. I believe this deal will get done, but it would not surprise me if the negotiations lingered on into the preseason.