It’s time to pay Jaye Howard

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About a month ago it was reported that the Kansas City Chiefs and Jaye Howard have had conversations about a long-term contract extension, which is something that was great news to Chiefs fans. After showing signs of development last year while filling in for an injured Mike DeVito (Achilles tear), Howard has raised his game to a whole other level during his contract season.

He’s arguably been the best player on the Chiefs defensive line that also features a returning DeVito, another young standout in Allen Bailey (who earned himself a contract extension in 2014) and Pro-Bowler Dontari Poe, the 11th overall pick in the 2012 Draft.  That’s some pretty good company.

Howard was part of GM John Dorey’s second draft in 2013, having the first chance to claim any player cut during training camp and preseason that was eligible for waivers. This was due to the Chiefs finishing with the worst record in football the year before. He put it to good use in claiming seven players, four of whom (Howard, safety Ron Parker, CB Marcus Cooper and LB Dezman Moses) are still with the team.

A former fourth-round pick of the Seattle Seahawks, Howard played in only two games for them before being cut and scooped up by the Chiefs. While he played sparingly in his first year with Kansas City (three games, seven tackles) he played in all 16 games in 2014 and put up solid numbers for a 3-4 DE (26 solo tackles, 19 assisted, one sack.) However, it wasn’t until this year where we’ve really seen Howard shine.

Howard has already recorded 29 solo and 19 assisted tackles through three less games, but the biggest improvement? Howard has 3.5 sacks, which shows an ability to get to the quarterback in a position that traditionally doesn’t call for it.  In a league that is more stat-driven than ever, these are the types of numbers that other teams will look at and come calling for next season.

Next: Decision time...