Justin Houston Contract: Latest News and Rumors on Negotiations with Chiefs

Tim DanielsFeatured ColumnistJuly 16, 2014

INDIANAPOLIS, IN - JANUARY 04:  Outside linebacker Justin Houston #50 of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrates against the Indianapolis Colts during a Wild Card Playoff game at Lucas Oil Stadium on January 4, 2014 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)
Rob Carr/Getty Images

Updates from Friday, Aug. 22

Jason LaCanfora of CBS Sports reports bad news for Chiefs fans regarding Justin Houston:

Terez Paylor of the Kansas City Star has more:

Updates from Tuesday, Aug. 5

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk provides the latest on Justin Houston's contract situation:

The Chiefs rewarded Houston for honoring his current obligations by offering a new contract.  Houston didn’t like it.  Per a league source, a “huge” gap current exists between the team’s offer and Houston’s demands.

Updates from Thursday, July 24

Terez A. Paylor of The Kansas City Star provided an update on Justin Houston's negotiations with the Chiefs:

Updates from Wednesday, July 23

Terez A. Paylor of The Kansas City Star reports on Justin Houston's presence at Chiefs training camp:

Original Text

Justin Houston is tentatively expected to attend training camp despite his desire to hammer out a new deal with the Kansas City Chiefs. The team's veterans are scheduled to arrive on July 23.  

Terez Paylor of The Kansas City Star reports no formal offers have been made by the organization, but there have been some discussions. While the outside linebacker is pleased with the situation, he isn't planning an extended holdout:

Paylor notes it's important for Houston to participate because he needs another accrued season before he can become eligible for free agency. Of course, the Chiefs would also have the option to use the franchise tag in that scenario:

The 25-year-old Georgia product has developed into a crucial piece of the Kansas City defense and one of the league's premier pass-rushing linebackers. He's tallied 21 sacks in 27 games across the last two seasons. Both resulted in Pro Bowl selections.

Alas, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk states Houston's initial contract after being selected in the third round of the 2011 draft was for just $3.4 million. The last season of that deal is slated to pay him just $1.4 million, an absolute bargain for a player of his caliber.

The report also notes that the defender has already lost nearly $100,000 for failing to show up during offseason activities. To prevent further loss, including a $30,000 daily fine if he isn't in camp, a source expects him to be there, per Florio:

Per a source with knowledge of the situation, Houston remains upset with the Chiefs, but common sense likely will prompt him to show up for training camp, stopping the financial bleeding at a fine of roughly $70,000 and a lost workout bonus of $25,000.

For a player earning a monster contract, those types of fines might not be enough to change his outlook. Houston isn't in that position yet. Add in the fact that he needs another season to become a potential free agent, and his leverage is limited in terms of a long-term holdout.

It's a tough situation for Houston because he certainly deserves more than his expected 2014 salary. And in an era where the only thing that really matters about a contract is the guaranteed money, he always has to worry about the risk of getting injured before entering the market.

The Chiefs could lock him up with a new deal. It's unclear whether they want to do that now or wait another year to see how things play out.