Still upset with Chiefs, Justin Houston is currently expected to report


Of all the 2011 draft picks who entered the NFL as rookie wage-scale guinea pigs, none of the guys who lost the most have shown an inclination to hold out of training camp in order to get a new contract.

So far, only one of the guys drafted that year has taken a stand — Chiefs linebacker Justin Houston.

A third-round pick who signed a four-year, $3.4 million deal, Houston is due to $1.406 million in the final season of the contract.  He has racked up 21 sacks in 27 games the last two seasons, and he wants to cash in.  Houston skipped all offseason workouts, including a mandatory minicamp, to prove his point.

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.  In addition to the $30,000 per day in fines he’d incur for skipping camp, Houston would forfeit his shot at free agency in 2015 if he fails to report within 30 days of the Week One opener between the Packers and Seahawks.

That provision didn’t stop players like Chris Johnson in 2011 and Darrelle Revis in 2010 from holding out with less than the requisite four years of service toward free agency.  But both already had received much larger paydays as rookies, and both were under contract for two more years when they held out.

Losing the year toward free agency has a much greater impact on a guy when free agency is less then eight months away.

And Houston gets more and more leverage with each passing day.  As he emerges from every practice and game without a serious injury, Houston positions himself for a crack at the open market or, worst-case scenario, the franchise tag.

If logic and reason prevail, Houston will be there.  If Houston’s emotions get the better of him, he may not be.  Either way, he won’t be happy — which could actually coax him to an even higher level of performance in his contract year.

44 responses to “Still upset with Chiefs, Justin Houston is currently expected to report

  1. I don’t understand why these players sign a contract then complain before the contract expires why they aren’t receiving enough $$. Just play the contract out and reap the rewards after you have proven your worth…to be able to earn even $700K a year is amazing…especially for playing a game you supposedly love!!

  2. Hard to figure this out from the Chiefs side. Unless his contract demands are just crazy (approaching franchise level), I don’t see why you wouldn’t at least talk to the guy about an extension. Sure, you could get him extra motivated in a contract year, but he’s only in his 3rd year, does he really need that kind of motivation already?

    That tell me that they think either he isn’t worth that kind of money, or they think he is the type of guy that is going get complacent once he gets a big payday. If either are true, maybe they should of traded him at the draft while his value was probably highest. If they don’t think either is true, seems like a serious gamble to get the guy bitter at the franchise, make him not want to re-sign, and be forced to franchise him or let him walk next year.

    Unless, like I said at the beginning, the money he wants is near that level anyway, then it would make some sense from their end

  3. I can see how he would be upset. I looked up the contract numbers for Bruce Carter at pick 40, and then compared that with his pay rate, then I looked at the stats and was like maybe Houston should have been the 40th pick and Carter should have been the 70th pick, if not lower. It sucks that the money part of this game is often due to random luck, or for a player to be dependent on teams figuring out who the better players are. They don’t do a very good job at that so it’s lousy for the good players that don’t get recognized before a lesser player.

  4. He should come to the JETS. We’ll give you a 4th round pick as he will contribute to the best defensive unit in football coached by the future HOF defensive mastermind Rex Ryan.

  5. Trouble in paradise? LOL

    A disgruntled defensive star is yet another reason for the chefs to fall to 6-10 (and the AFCW basement) after their fluky year in 2014 (or at least the fluky start which ended in a late season collapse).

  6. Chiefs currently have 10 mil in cap space. Raiders have 9.8 mil but if you want to quibble over the difference you go ahead Joey.

  7. Die Hard Chiefs Fan Here. I like Justin Houston Houston and he is a Good player. I hope my Chiefs sign him up for a sensible multi year deal.

    But he is no JJ Watt. He should not expected to be treated or paid like JJ Watt. J Houston had Zero sacks against the Broncos last year. Just Sayin.

  8. I’ve always liked the Chiefs and have followed them for years, but their offseason decision making has baffled me year in and year out. The guy is a stud, they shouldn’t gamble with him.

  9. He signed the contract..he needs to honor the contract. Plain and simple. No one put a gun to his head to sign that contract. Be a man and honor your contract.

  10. joetoronto says: Jul 16, 2014 11:12 AM

    “Yup, they don’t call them the Kansas City Cheaps for nothing.”

    Joe T: Two things.

    #1, your Raiders suck.
    #2, Ask Dwayne Bowe if the Chiefs are cheap.

  11. rmaxmaicon says:
    Jul 16, 2014 11:05 AM
    I don’t understand why these players sign a contract then complain before the contract expires why they aren’t receiving enough $$. Just play the contract out and reap the rewards after you have proven your worth…to be able to earn even $700K a year is amazing…especially for playing a game you supposedly love!!

    Go look at JJ Watt. People need to stop saying that the NFL is a business and then chastise players for wanting a contract that matches their production.

    I personally feel it’s a bit disgusting that they haven’t hooked JJ Watt up since he has definitely outperformed that contract.

  12. I just wish that pftpoet would come up with some new material every now and then. It’s always either a top five list that has Viking players who wouldn’t be starters on other teams ranked in a ridiculous spot, or it’s a stupid statement about some incoming Vikings dynasty(LOL!) with a bunch of stupid #hashtags on the end. Try a little harder man.

  13. I used to think these guys needed to honor their contract and play for the money they agreed to. But too often now teams sign players to big contracts and then squeeze them into playing for less in a year or so, or cut them and keep the money. The whole contract system in the NFL is a little shaky. Signing a contract doesn’t mean you have anything beyond the first year. Both sides have the ability to treat it like scrap paper.

  14. Like all these guys who hold out and don’t get proper offseason conditioning he’ll probably be hurt seriously by game 5 or 6 and not get anywhere near the FA dollars he’s hoping to get next year.

  15. Houston will probably end up playing out his current contract and end up moving on to another team next year. Really too bad for the Chiefs if that happens. Third-Round two-time Pro Bowlers are pretty rare.

  16. This deal should have already been done. Starting to wonder if they’re foolishly thinking that Dee Ford gives them leverage in negotiations with Houston. That would be a bad plan…

  17. Although us regular guys look at 700k as a diesel salary, after taxes and agent fees that comes out to practically nothing financially for one of the upper echelon pass rushers in the league. You can’t fault him for trying to get his.

  18. Huston signed a contract. He was given said contract because of youthful indiscressions. The Chiefs took a risk on him due to these past mistakes. He should honor his contract, further prove himself and take big money next season. I love what he has already accomplished but he will get an even larger contract next year if he remains consistant. If he stays out any longer the Chiefs should trade him.

  19. He’ll be in camp, and he’ll either sign an extention or he’ll be tagged when it’s time.

    He’s not going anywhere you toolboxes. He’s one of the best pass rushers in football.

    And to the chuggers fans, you can have Flowers. We’ll be throwing the ball over his short, slow head two games this year with much success.

  20. Chiefs will be pressed to go 8-8 on strength of schedule. Add in new OL and unproven secondary. With AR and Alex we will be in every game. If OL and secondary coming together could be 8-8.

  21. Just shows you how completely out of touch pro athletes are with the common person, or the audience who pays for game tickets. This guy blew off nearly $100k, more than most people in this country or world make in a year, in what amounts to less than half that time just to make a statement that he doesn’t make enough money. Meaning, he’s giving up some of his “low-paying” salary so that the front office will know he’s unhappy. Unhappy to show up and get paid $100k to work out. I hope management holds this guy to his contract. Not doing so would set a terrible precedence.

  22. How about we send Justin Houston to Houston, and Houston sends Andre Johnson to KC. The Texans already don’t care about offense one whit, and KC gets a damn good receiver.

  23. @ sopadegato

    Because we already have an overpaid Bowe, the last thing we need is to overpay a “past-his-prime” Johnson.
    Johnson should go to Oakland, they like to overpay washed-up vets. They will probably give a 1st & 2nd round pick for him.

  24. Hey boys, nobody digs being a Chief. Your team is always soft, cant win playoff games, and basically KC is irrelevant. Yeah, that’s a fact!

  25. Won’t be much of a contract next year if he’s sitting on the bench watching Dee Ford rack up double digit sacks.

    He screwed his own self right before his draft day so he has no one to blame but himself. Get over it and play good ball and the money will follow.

  26. I don’t blame him. That is peanuts for his production. I understand they don’t pay on contracts for previous production but this guy is still young. C’mon Chiefs.

  27. All the people saying he signed a contract so he should honor it have no understanding of the rookie wage scale. He was forced to sign a contract for a pre-specified amount. It was not negotiated freely. Why should he be loyal to a contract he may not have wanted to sign in the first place?

  28. The whole “nobody forced him to sign a contract, he should play it out”, kind of falls apart when you consider he is signed under a rookie wage scale. So while nobody “forced” him to sign the deal, he was not able to negotiate a better deal at the time

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