Justin Houston, Chiefs Yet To Discuss A New Contract This Offseason


Justin Houston still doesn’t have a contract, in part, because he and the Kansas City Chiefs haven’t talked yet.

Herbie Teope of Chiefs Digest is reporting the two sides have not discussed a contract since the end of the 2014 season, with the direct quote from Teope’s source being ‘zero talks.’ Here’s a snip from Teope’s article.

"The Chiefs and outside linebacker Justin Houston’s representatives have had “zero talks” on a contract during that span, a source familiar with the negotiations informed ChiefsDigest.com Thursday."

Teope notes there’s no reason to panic just yet, citing salary cap expert and former NFL agent Joel Corry as a source who says talks probably won’t start until around the NFL Scouting Combine in late February. That was around the time last year when the Chiefs started talking to Houston about a new deal before contract discussions ended up hitting an snap in the summer.

More from Kansas City Chiefs News

Houston is thought to be looking for a massive deal, which makes sense since he is coming off of a 22-sack season and has established himself as one of the best defensive players in all of the NFL. Some estimates have Houston landing a $96 million deal with half of that being guaranteed. That kind of contract would require some salary cap finagling by the Chiefs, who are essentially already at the cap for the 2015 season.

Kansas City still holds some cards with Houston in contract negotiations. John Dorsey still has the franchise tag in his back pocket to prevent Houston from hitting free agency, and Houston is still considered to be the lesser defender than J.J. Watt. Those two things should prevent the Chiefs from having to dish out a record contract to Houston though they are still going to need to hand out a boatload of cash.

One would think the timeline for a Houston deal will come sometime in May or early June, after the NFL draft. Getting Houston signed to a contract before the start of free agency would be ideal but because of the cap maneuvering the Chiefs have ahead of them and the need to fill some holes in free agency it may be difficult to get a big deal done with Houston by the start of the new league year.

Keep in mind the Chiefs need to make some decisions of Tamba Hali, Dwayne Bowe, and several other players either on contract restructures or cuts. No matter what happens with the Houston deal, the Chiefs still have to clear some room on the salary cap in order to be viable in free agency and draft an 11-man class. Moves are going to be made, and the complexity of them would seem to indicate the Houston negotiations will be slowed down a bit as a result.

All of those things said, it’s not a matter of if Houston gets a deal but when. His importance to the Chiefs on defense, and letting one of the best pass rushers – if not the best – walk is not something you allow to happen. Houston will get a deal, but it doesn’t look like it’s going to happen in the immediate future.