MONDAY, 3:37pm: So far, there’s been “zero progress” in talks between Houston and the Chiefs, a source tells Ed Werder of ESPN.com (Twitter link). The two sides are hoping to move closer to an agreement at the combine this week.
SUNDAY, 4:04pm: The Chiefs won’t use the franchise tag on Houston until the two parties meet, according to Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star (Twitter link). Additionally, Houston’s reps haven’t made a decision on whether on not they would sign the franchise tender (link).
10:25am: Over the next couple of days, the Chiefs and Joel Segal, the agent for Justin Houston, will see if they can come to an agreement on a multi-year deal for the All-Pro linebacker, reports Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com. It was only a month ago that we heard the two sides had had “zero talks” regarding a new contract, but there was continuing belief that the Chiefs wanted to retain the Pro Bowler.
As we heard previously (and as Florio reiterates in his article), Kansas City was expected to place the franchise tag on Houston. While there were questions regarding whether the player would be tagged as a linebacker or defensive end, Houston was still expected to promptly sign the contract. Both sides may still go down that path, giving them additional time to negotiate a long-term deal. Florio notes that a “new strategy” could emerge should Houston be dissatisfied with Kansas City’s offer.
Houston made his third-straight Pro Bowl in 2014, compiling career-highs in tackles (59), forced fumbles (four), and sacks (22), the latter of which broke a franchise record. Houston was far and away the highest rated 3-4 outside linebacker in Pro Football Focus’ ratings (subscription required). In fact, his 51.1 overall rating trailed only J.J. Watt, Khalil Mack and Von Miller among defenders.