Justin Houston’s Pay Day Coming


It’s time to pay the pass-rusher, Kansas City Chiefs.

If we learned one thing during Sunday’s decimation of interstate rival St. Louis Rams, is that it is time to pay. Who should the Chiefs pay? None other than the sack master himself, Justin Houston.

Justin Houston is quickly becoming the Chiefs’ most dominate pass-rusher. Not to take anything from the great Tamba Hali, but Houston’s performance this season is one for the record books, quite literally as I’ll talk about below.

During the game, Houston got up close and personal with Rams quarterback Austin Davis as Houston sacked the Rams’ QB three times during the game.

As it stands right now, Houston is on pace to not only to break the late Derrick Thomas’ record of 20 sacks in one season, but he also has the chance to break the single-season sack record, currently held by defensive-end-turned-talk-show-host Michael Strahan with 22.5 for the season. So far the Chiefs’ prolific pass-rusher has 10 sacks on the season, and is currently sitting on top of the sack leader board followed Denver’s Von Miller at nine.

Let’s break down how this could happen.

Minus the game where Houston did not record a sack against rival Denver, he has averaged 1.25 sacks per game since the beginning of 2014. Using his average production of 1.25 per game, he will add an additional 11.25 sacks for the remainder of the 2014 season. This number, combined with his current stats, puts him just behind Strahan at 21.25 sacks for the year, or rather, one game short of tying the record.

Now, his average may not seem attainable, given the fact that both Denver and Seattle — teams the Chiefs still have to face before the conclusion of the season — have good offensive lines. However, we need to account for the fact that the Chiefs are going into the softer part of their schedule, which is filled with teams like the Oakland Raiders (good for two of the eight remaining games), who have a weak offensive line and have not been protecting the quarterback. Surely we can count on Houston racking up more than 1.25 sacks against beleaguered quarterbacks playing for the weaker teams. Still, Houston’s challenge lies in getting to the quarterback with Denver and the elusive Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson. If Justin wants to break the record, he will have to either increase his sack numbers against weaker teams, or continue along his current pace, which means getting Peyton Manning and Russell Wilson at least once.

What does record-breaking dominance lead to?

Pay the man!

Oct 26, 2014; Kansas City, MO, USA; Kansas City Chiefs outside linebacker Justin Houston (50) celebrates with linebacker Tamba Hali (91) after making a sack against the St. Louis Rams in the first half at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports

Houston has shown that he is worth every dollar and is out there every down showing just how much. The big fear this upcoming offseason is if the Chiefs can’t manage to sign him to a long-term deal. Right now, Houston is making only $1.4 million in the last year of his contract. In comparison, the second-place sack leader this year, Von Miller, is making $3.2 million this year, more than double the yearly salary of Houston. Currently the highest paid outside linebacker is Green Bay’s Clay Matthews,  who signed a 5 year 66 million dollar contract.

Is Houston worth that? I would say yes.

There is a way the Chiefs can structure a deal with Houston to be both beneficial to him and to the overall salary cap of the team. If the Chiefs are unable to create some room, and or move some players, there is always the franchise tag. This will prevent him from hitting the open market to hopefully work out a long-term deal. The bottom line is that the Chiefs need to find a way to keep Houston in Kansas City. He is a beast and has the production to back it up. If the Chiefs want to keep this defense together and dominate up front, first and foremost, they need to find a way to keep Houston.

What do you think, Addicts? In a perfect world, what would you like to see contract-wise for Houston?

Thanks for reading!