The Chiefs and Justin Houston will discuss a possible extension for the standout pass rusher this weekend, according to Jason Cole of Bleacher Report (video link), who indicates agent Joel Segal will talk to Kansas City GM John Dorsey.
Like Jason Pierre-Paul, Dez Bryant, and Demaryius Thomas, Houston received the franchise tag earlier this offseason but has yet to sign that one-year, $13.195MM tender, preferring for the time being to pursue a long-term contract. It’s no surprise that Houston and the Chiefs are expected to ramp up negotiations in the coming days, since the deadline for franchised players to strike a multiyear deal is next Wednesday.
According to Cole, the Chiefs have an offer on the table for Houston that features “generational wealth”-type money. It’s not clear exactly what that means in terms of per-year salary or overall guarantees, but Cole suggests the NFL’s reigning sack leader is seeking a deal in the neighborhood of J.J. Watt‘s six-year, $100MM pact. That’s no surprise either — we heard way back in November, when Houston was on his way to finishing with 22 sacks, that he and Segal may look to top Watt’s deal.
If the Chiefs don’t increase their offer into the Watt range, the two sides likely won’t get anything done within the next five days, leaving Houston to play the 2015 season on his one-year franchise tender. However, it’s not unreasonable to think Kansas City’s offer could get close to that six-year, $100MM figure.
Although Watt received more than $50MM in total guarantees, only about $20MM of that amount was fully guaranteed up front. And while a report in May indicated the Chiefs wouldn’t want to pay Houston more annually than they’ve committed to quarterback Alex Smith ($17MM), a six-year, $100MM agreement would come in just below that.
Houston isn’t quite the one-man wrecking ball that Watt is up front, but Watt’s deal is viewed as a relative bargain for the Texans, since they got it done well before he would’ve reached free agency. Additionally, you could make the case that Houston is the league’s second-best pass rusher, considering he has racked up 43 sacks over the last three seasons, earning Pro Bowl nods in each of those years.
Based on that production, Houston is probably worthy of an extension that matches or exceeds the contracts for top pass rushers like Mario Williams and Robert Quinn, who are in the $14-16MM per year range. We’ll see if the Chiefs are willing to go that high, or if they’re more inclined to go year to year on their star outside linebacker.