Jason La Canfora has learned that contract negotiations with Chiefs outside linebacker are not going very well. So poorly, in fact, that he believes the two side will not get a deal done before the start of the season.
Chiefs remain so far apart in negotiations w/Justin Houston that I’m told there is not a chance a deal gets done. He’ll play out his deal
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) August 22, 2014
Houston is in the final year of his rookie contract and is eligible for free agency at the end of the season. Kansas City does have a franchise tag they can use on Houston to keep him here if they cannot get a contract agreed upon by the start of free agency next March. However, using the franchise tag on Houston may mean they run the risk of losing Alex Smith to free agency if Kansas City cannot get a new contract for him.
The Chiefs cannot afford to lose Houston, who is one of the premier pass rusher in the NFL. Everything the Chiefs do on defense is based on rushing the passer and Houston is one of the best in the game at getting to the quarterback. On some levels he is simply irreplaceable.
There is still plenty of time for the Chiefs and Houston to get a deal done but this is not a particularly encouraging development.