Kansas City Chiefs Linebacker, Justin Houston, is an ascending player. However, despite pro bowl appearances, he’s not an elite player just yet. Still in the NFL, if you can sack quarterbacks, you generally earn quarterback dollars.
But in the case of Houston, the Chiefs probably won’t be offering him anything close to the deal J.J. Watt signed with the Texans. In fact, if Houston wants that kind of money, he best start looking for it from another NFL team whenever he becomes a free agent – most likely after the 2015 or 2016 season.
With the tension over in regards to the Alex Smith extension, Houston like Smith, has to be realistic about his contract demands. Watt is one of the best defensive players in the NFL. He can do it all and Houston, though very talented in his own right, hasn’t reached that level just yet.
Last week Warpaint Illustrated confirmed the Chiefs and Houston’s representatives were closing the gap. However when news broke of the Watt signing, suddenly Gordon Gecko emerged from his sequel shadows spewing how good greed can be once again.
I don’t care who is representing Houston, there’s no chance the Chiefs or any other NFL team is going to surpass, or even come close to the $51.9 Million guarantee the Texans stupidly gave to Watt.
Do not get me wrong Houston deserves to be paid handsomely but he’s not getting a kings ransom from Kansas City. However, passing on the Chiefs latest contract offer, that would have given Houston an opportunity to earn $30-35 million over the next three seasons, isn’t exactly chump change for the former third round draft pick.
The Chiefs under the guidance of General Manager, John Dorsey, have become very frugal and wise with their player salaries. Remember, the Chiefs current GM is digging out of the hole the teams last GM, Scott Pioli, put him into this season.
Next year the Chiefs cap space will improve significantly and if Houston wants to remain in Kansas City, something I’m not sure he really wants to do at this point, he better have a monster 2014 season to get the big bucks he desires.
The Chiefs can franchise Houston the next two years so they could play hardball with him and upset his earnings in the prime years of his sack mastering abilities. That means Houston has to decide to take the abundance of riches he can gain now from Kansas City or simply holdout next year despite the franchise tag designation the Chiefs will likely place on him in the off-season.
In taking out the emotion of this issue, it would appear Houston isn’t getting very good advice from his representatives. That means he’s about to make a mistake that many NFL players make when in a contract stalemate with their current employer, they reach too far for the stars.
With Houston wanting a similar deal to Watt, he places a bullseye on his jersey that will remain in tow for the entire 2014 season. In passing up the dollars on the table with the Chiefs today, he’s one knee injury away from seeing all that green go up in smoke.
My gut tells me Chiefs fans aren’t going to like the direction these talks are headed but the same could have been said for Smith two weeks ago. At one point, they weren’t even communicating.
With Houston, the Chiefs are listening but thus far the sides are hundreds of miles apart in getting a contract extension done.
Then again, if you want to take solace in the Houston sage, this is the NFL so anything is possible. Thus I wouldn’t rule out the two sides breaking bread to get a deal done before the end of the season but I’m not holding my breath on the topic either.
WARPAINT ILLUSTRATED MESSAGE BOARDS:
If Justin Houston wants J J Watt money, should Chiefs pass?
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