Chiefs calendar: “Houston… we have a Houston!”

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Just as clearly as Derrick Thomas was the heart and soul of the 1990s Chiefs defense, Justin Houston has become that for these Chiefs. Sometimes a player gets paid because he deserves to be, based solely upon his play on the field.

Sometimes, a player deserves to be paid for more than that reason alone. Houston is one of those guys.

Showing up in Houston — without Houston — is inviting disaster.

This past Monday, the first day of the Chiefs’ offseason team workout program, new safety Tyvon Branch was asked why he choose to sign with the Chiefs and his response was,

"“[Justin] Houston and Tamba Hali. Whenever you can play behind a pass rush like that, you jump at the opportunity.”"

What does Hali say about being able to play with Justin Houston?

"“It’s probably the best thing that’s happened to me since I’ve been here”"

Tamba is beginning his 10th season with the Kansas City Chiefs.

The Chiefs brass played the waiting game when negotiating with Dwayne Bowe a couple of years ago. Bowe ended up getting paid more for “what he had previously accomplished” for the organization than what he was “going to accomplish.” It’s hard to imagine that this would be the case with regards to Justin Houston. He’s only 26. While the negotiation process is just that, a process, the Chiefs need to focus on the significance Houston has to the team, the organization and the city as a whole, the bigger picture. He’s right up there on the Chiefs’ current Mount Rushmore, faces of the franchise, along with Jamaal Charles, Alex Smith and Andy Reid.

If you remove Justin Houston from the landscape of the Chiefs defense, you basically set the defense back to the barren wastelands of the 1980s when it comes to pressuring the quarterback. In the 1990s, the Chiefs had Derrick Thomas and Neil Smith. Then came Jared Allen and Tamba Hali. However, the opportunity to face opposing offenses with not only Tamba Hali and Derrick Johnson but Justin Houston as well, places this Chiefs defense in a unique position they haven’t been in since perhaps the 1960s when DE Jim Marsalis, OLB Jim Lynch, ILB Willie Lanier and OLB Bobby Bell were terrorizing NFL backfields.

Now, it looks like John Dorsey is playing a cat-n-mouse game with Houston. On Friday he said.

"“We’ve said all along Justin is a good football player. He really is. I mean, I foresee him not going anywhere in the future. Umm, if you’re going to ask me if I had a conversation with his representative? I have, or we have. We’ve had a conversation with his representative in the last three days.”"

When asked if he’d made headway [on contract talks], Dorsey said,

"“I mean, we’ve had conversation.”"

We can only hope Dorsey doesn’t look back at this time and regret not taking action that would tie Justin Houston up now. Is Justin Houston going to cost the Kansas City Chiefs dearly? Yes. However, if Houston is not in Houston for the opener, the cost of losing the first game of the 2015 season will be the proverbial ripple in the pond, having a worse effect on their record than any other potential loss.

We can hope general manager John Dorsey makes sure he’s there… Justin time.

What do you think, Addict fans? Do you think it’s paramount that the Chiefs have Justin Houston signed, sealed and delivered before they play their season opener in Houston?

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Since the draft is only five days away, here’s my last mock draft of the season. I usually don’t like, or offer, trade-related mocks because there are too many variables involved. However, online mocking tools make trade-back mocks easier than ever. Here, I trade back once in the first round, which is what the Chiefs did four years ago when they selected wide receiver Jonathan Baldwin in the first round of the 2011 NFL draft, and consequently were able to add Justin Houston with the extra third-round choice they received in the process.

R 1 Pick 24:   Eddie Goldman, DT, Florida St.

[swapping picks 18 & 24 with Arizona]

R 2 Pick 17:   Stephone Anthony, ILB, Clemson

R 2 Pick 23:   D.J. Humphries, OT, Florida

[from Arizona for the round one swap]

R 3 Pick 16:   Tyler Lockett, WR, Kansas State

R 3 Cmp 34:  Reese Dismukes, C, Auburn

R 4 Pick 19:   James Sample, SS, Louisville

R 5 Cmp 36:  Damian Swann, CB, Georgia

R 5 Cmp 37:  Corey Robinson, OT, S. Carolina

R 6 Pick 17:   Kyle Emanuel, OLB, North Dakota State

R 6 Cmp 42:  Nick Boyle, TE, Delaware