When he was with Green Bay, John Dorsey understood the value of taking care of the core players that make up your football team. The Packers were one of the very few organizations that signed valuable and productive players to contract extensions before they could hit free agency.
In Kansas City, Dorsey has done that with the likes of Dustin Colquitt, Dwayne Bowe, Alex Smith, Jamaal Charles, Thomas Gafford, Anthony Sherman and now, Allen Bailey. Obviously the key omission in this class is Linebacker, Justin Houston.
More on that very topic in a minute.
The move to sign Bailey was in the works for weeks. The fact Dorsey valued Bailey by giving him a $15 million guarantee, tells me the framework in which, he bases his contract decisions, does not fall short on handing over the coin to players he values as critical to the long term success of the Kansas City Chiefs.
Don’t get me wrong he’s made a few blunders, most notably failing to pony up the modest extra cash in the off-season that allowed Wide Receiver Emmanuel Sanders to tear up his offer from the Chiefs and sign with the Broncos the same day.
It was a valuable lesson to learn for Dorsey and one that he’s certainly recovered from in regards to stabilizing his roster for years to come.
By signing Bailey, he’s telling his players if you adhere to the system, make plays on the field, stay out of trouble off the field and believe in what the Chiefs are trying to do long term, you’re going to get paid.
The fact the Chiefs have made these recent signings tells me they are serious about becoming the dominating force in the AFC West for years to come. The Chiefs understand the shift in power within the division is likely going to change when Denver Broncos Quarterback, Peyton Manning, retires likely after their playoff run this season.
That point taken, the Chiefs have a gaping hole in regards to the contract extension that they need shore up with Justin Houston under contract. Based on the contract they gave Bailey, the offer on the table for the NFL’s leading sack master would pay him a lot of iron over the next four or five years in Kansas City.
The problem with the offer to date, per my source, Houston doesn’t think it’s enough money. There in lies the main issue to this contract stalemate. Dorsey has made it clear he’s not going to break the bank for any single player. He has 52 other guys and a host of practice squad guys that need to fit within the budget.
Granted the salary cap is expected to rise significantly over the next three years, its apparent Kansas City could easily absorb an inflated contract for Houston today. But that’s not how Dorsey operates. And despite, some grumblings within the Chiefs nation on that very topic, being prudent makes the most sense to building a winner in Kansas City.
In the end numbers are just that, and either Houston will accept his lucrative offer from the Chiefs, or he’ll be franchised as a linebacker (not a defensive end) in 2015 and 2016. It’s likely he’ll huff and puff a bit but he’d be crazy not to take the franchise cash.
I understand Houston wants to get paid and he deserves some serious coin for his efforts. However, as valuable a player as he is for the Chiefs, Houston is not indispensable. Kansas City is prepared to hold their ground on that theme and Houston has to decide, by refusing to sign the offer on the table right now, is it worth rolling the dice and getting injured between now and seasons end.
Either way, after some initial bumps in the road, Dorsey is finding his groove. Because if you look at the players he signed over the last two years on my list, most if not all of them, were given contracts placing them amongst the highest paid players at their respective positions in the NFL.
So do you think the Chiefs intend to short change Justin Houston?
It might be time for the Chiefs All-Pro linebacker to seek better advisors, and even considers switching agents, before Kansas City pulls the offer off the table at the end of this month.
Photo Credit: Allen Bailey (Denny Medley USA Today Sports) / Allen Bailey and Justin Houston (Jeremy Brevard USA Today Sports).