They also share another distinction, both were vastly underpaid at their respective positions. Charles got a new deal on Wednesday and made it very clear in talking to the media on Thursday that he had no intentions on holding out before agreeing to a new deal.
Houston, who did skip Mini-Camp last month told the hounding media the state of his contract status are in ‘God’s hands’ and it’ll work itself out. That might be true but the NFL Gods can be cruel so let’s hope he’s referring to the big man upstairs.
“When it is time for me to get that deal done, it is going to happen,” Houston said about the current state of his contract talks with the Chiefs. “My main focus is football. If you’re worrying about that contract, it’ll slow you down from the things you’ve got to do on the field and I don’t want that to happen.”
Chiefs management reached out Charles at the beginning of the week and they’ve never wavered in their intent to get a deal done with Houston at some point. It’s a good move because the Chiefs don’t want to start a precedent making it acceptable for their star players to enjoy success in another NFL city.
For KC’s best linebacker, he was far more interested in talking about the bad taste in his mouth over the fact his team blew a 28-point second half lead in the post season, than the state of his contract.
“Recalling from what we did last year, we didn’t finish last year. Even the playoff game, we had a great start, but we didn’t finish the game. So hopefully everybody still has that taste in their mouth and they want to get rid of it,” Houston said.
To his credit, Houston gets the big picture. After all, he appeared to have learned a valuable lesson after testing positive for a banned substance at the NFL Combines in 2011. That mistake cost him. He should have been a first round pick but fell to round three and fortunately the Chiefs gave him a chance to redeem himself.
It would appear from his play on the field the last three seasons as well as his stance off the field, Houston has found his redemption in Kansas City.
“I am here now to play football. I am not worrying about that. I am here to help better the team, do what the coaches ask to do,” Houston said.
Chiefs Camp Quotes:
QB Alex Smith - “I’m happy for Jamaal. The guy is one of the most special players in the league and deserved it. I’m glad to see that get done. For me, you guys know how I feel about this. This is no longer the time to be talking and speculating and certainly the people talking to my agent in the front office I’ve told them the same thing. When something gets finalized let me know, but until then, don’t bother me. That’s the way I want it.”
DT Dontari Poe - “All in all, we have to come into practice strong and finish stronger. Start strong, finish strong. Same with the season. We have to rep it up and get better as the year goes on. We’ll be alright.”
LB Derrick Johnson “It feels great. It’s my 10th season, 10th training camp – five in Wisconsin, five here. So it is a new feeling, a new beginning all the time. Every team is different and this year, 2014, seems like a special year.”
RB Jamaal Charles - “It could’ve been done a while ago. We waited two or three days before training camp to get it done, we could’ve had it done, but I’m just happy that it’s over with and I can move past it and focus on football now. I’m just happy, my family is happy, and the Chiefs are happy, and the fans are happy.”
HC Andy Reid - “Well listen, the fans are great. It’s great to have them out here to give you a little juice. The guys had a hard workout this morning, and I know they feed off the fans. So I think that helped them have a good workout here this afternoon. So we appreciate the fans and the things they do for us. Again, we expect to see a lot tomorrow too and every day.”
Photos: Charles LeClaire & John Rieger USA Today Sports
WARPAINT ILLUSTRATED MESSAGE BOARDS:
Did Houston play the right cards with managementl?
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