Like many other teams, the Chiefs held their first organized team activity of the offseason on Tuesday.
Unlike some of those other teams, they did it without two of their defensive starters from last season. Terez Paylor of the Kansas City Star reports that neither linebacker Justin Houston and cornerback Brandon Flowers were in attendance for the voluntary practice.
Paylor reports it is unclear why Flowers is absent, but the corner has been the subject of trade discussion for much of the offseason. His future in Kansas City only got more uncertain when the team added cornerback Phillip Gaines to a group that also includes Sean Smith and Marcus Cooper, although the $5.25 million he’s due to make this year as well as the two remaining years on his deal after 2014 may make it difficult to find a trading partner.
There’s been no specific reason given for Houston’s absence either, but Paylor believes it is “likely related to his contract.” Houston is entering the final year of his rookie deal and is set to make $1.4 million under the terms of that deal. With 26.5 sacks in his first three seasons, it stands to reason Houston would be looking for something more lucrative. It also stands to reason that the Chiefs would like to keep him around, so an extension could come at some point in the near future.