Despite leading the league in sacks this season, LB Justin Houston appears no closer to reaching a new contract with the Chiefs.
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According to Yahoo! Sports, the Kansas City Chiefs and LB Justin Houston are very far away on terms of a new deal.
“Though the Kansas City Chiefs and two-time Pro Bowl linebacker Justin Houston have engaged in discussions on a long-term deal for nearly a year, the two sides remain ‘worlds apart,’ multiple sources familiar with the negotiations told Yahoo Sports.”
Houston is currently in the final year of his contract and currently leads the NFL in sacks (10.0). At age 25, Houston has become one of the league’s best rushing OLBs. He has 36 1/2 career sacks, 21 in his last 18 regular-season games, and since his rookie year in 2011, has missed only five games. But his salary is an almost neglibile $1.59 million.
Had the Chiefs signed Houston prior to the season – when his highest single-season sack total was 11 – they almost assuredly would have gotten him at a bargain compared to what it’s going to cost them now. The Texans paid Watt $30.8 million (fully guaranteed) at signing in exchange for an additional six-year commitment from their star defensive end while the Rams paid Quinn $15.7 million (fully guaranteed) at signing in exchange for an additional four-year commitment.
In 2011, the Chiefs gave linebacker Tamba Hali a five-year deal through 2016 that pays him an average annual salary of $11.5 million. Since the start of the 2013 season, Hali has had fewer sacks and fewer tackles than Houston despite playing in four more games.
At this point, if the Chiefs want a long-term commitment from Houston, it’s likely to cost them at least what Watt received.