The “Chiefs trade Justin Houston” draft scenario


No one knows just how upset the Kansas City Chiefs Pro Bowl linebacker Justin Houston really is. I got my first inkling that he could be upset last offseason when he decided to not attend any of the non-mandatory OTAs. Houston also held out for a while in his first training camp so the idea that he could still be upset about his position in the draft in 2011…is even a possibility.

Now, the problem is that Justin Houston so happens to be even better than anyone could have hoped he’d be, and he expects the Chiefs to pony up because of his accomplishments, which are many.

The Chiefs had a decision to make with Houston this offseason and since they were unable to sign him to a contract of their liking, they have placed the franchise tag on him. Not just any franchise tag but the non-exclusive tag, which means another team can offer Houston a contract and if the Chiefs fail to match those contract demands, would receive two first-round picks, one from the most recent draft and one from next year’s draft.

There’s the catch for the Chiefs. If another team offers Houston a contract that the Chiefs can’t (or don’t want to) match… the day after the first round of this draft, meaning tomorrow, what will the Chiefs do? That would leave the Chiefs up the proverbial creek because they would then receive a first-round pick, in next year’s draft and another the year after that.

Yes, they would have Dee Ford, last year’s No. 1, to insert into Houston’s slot but no one believes he’s ready for that. We would have seen a lot more of Ford last season if this were the case.

So, are John Dorsey and Andy Reid — who have worked with Justin Houston on a contact and are fully aware of how upset he is or isn’t — going to draft accordingly? Meaning, do they have a plan to take a replacement for him since there are some good edge rushers to be found in the first round?

Before answering, first consider that Andy Reid, and John Dorsey for that matter, draft… ahead of their time.

  • What do you call it when… someone who is investing in stocks wants to make a killing off some of their moves so they find out beforehand what the company will be doing? Oh yea, it’s called Insider Trading.
  • What do you call it when… you put some pillows under your blankets to make it look like you’re asleep and then put on a snoring soundtrack to make it sound like you’re asleep so you can go out at midnight to meet your girlfriend? Uh, that’s called good planning.
  • What do you call it when… you base your actions based upon knowledge that comes from a vision or a dream and then it comes true? It’s called a priori knowledge.

You get the idea by now. Andy Reid has been that guy. So has Dorsey. They’re the ones who make sure the Chiefs are “covered.” They plan ahead so much so that they sometime forgets what’s needed right now.

Take last year’s draft for example. The Chiefs draft OLB Dee Ford to ostensibly replace Tamba Hali at some point in the future while neglecting to draft a WR, which as we all now know, the Chiefs needed desperately in 2014.

What does it mean? It means that Reid and Dorsey plan ahead of their time.

They don’t want to get caught with their breeches down.

They’ve done this four times already in their time with the Chiefs, and while the results haven’t yet been sterling, it’s hard to argue with the approach.

The first time Andy Reid used this “planning ahead” strategy with the Chiefs was the trade for Alex Smith. Reid knew the “Chiefs quarterback coffers” had nothing to offer when he came aboard in 2013. So, he planned ahead using two second-round picks to trade for a quarterback he had coveted in years previous.

Now, let’s be clear about where Reid and Dorsey applies this strategy. They use it when it comes to the “essential” football positions: quarterback, left tackle, offensive linebacker and wide receiver.

When did Reid know he wanted to make the trade for Alex Smith? My guess is… before he ever took the Chiefs head coaching position. He openly admitted wanting Smith many years prior, and do you think Reid is really going to take over the reins of an NFL team with zero quarterback options? Plus, the writing was already on the wall for Alex Smith with the 49ers that year, taking them to a 6-2-1 record before getting himself concussed and then losing his job to Colin Kaepernick.

Drafting ahead of time is the modus operandi for Andy Reid and John Dorsey.

  • They knew that Branden Albert could break the bank the next off-season so they would have to let him walk and they took Eric Fisher with the No. 1 overall pick to replace him.
  • They knew that Glenn Dorsey would be signing with another team so they signed DE Mike DeVito formerly of the N.Y. Jets.
  • They knew that Hali’s career was eventually coming to an end, and they also wanted more rushing push because of what happened in the playoff loss to the Colts, so they drafted OLB Dee Ford.
  • They knew that Alex Smith could go down at any time (because of the offensive line) so they signed (and paid too much for) Chase Daniel.
  • They knew they’d be cutting Dwayne Bowe if they could sign Jeremy Maclin.

They knew, they knew, they knew. Planning ahead is what Dorsey and Reid do.

Now, how likely is it that the Chiefs will take another top OLB later today in preparation for losing Justin Houston?

The answer is not… it will never happen. So, it’s better to be a good Boy Scout and be prepared.

What do you think, Addict fans? Could the Chiefs’ next move be dictated by what Reid and Dorsey anticipate that Justin Houston’s next move is going to be? I hope it doesn’t come down to that, but I have to admit it’s a possibility.