The Kansas City Chiefs had one of the best defenses in the NFL last season, and Justin Houston was a big piece of that. According to CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora, the Chiefs are currently in discussions about a potential long-term extension with their star linebacker. He is one of the best pass rushers in the NFL right now, and despite missing five games, ended up with 11.0 sacks on the season. Locking him up long-term right now certainly would be a smart move.
Amid all the contract extensions going on, don’t forget about Justin Houston. The Chiefs certainly haven’t. Talks got rolling at combine
— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) March 1, 2014
Houston suffered through some injury issues last season with the Chiefs, playing in 11 games total during the regular season. Despite missing five games, he was able to rack up 44 tackles and a forced fumble to go along with the 11.0 sacks that were mentioned earlier. At 25 years of age, Houston still has a lot of good football left and is going to be a leader of the Chiefs’ defense next season.
According to Pro Football Focus, Houston was the best outside linebacker this past season, and will likely command a huge contract. It will certainly be interesting to see what kind of money the Chiefs have to give up in order to keep him in Kansas City long-term. His new deal is expected to make him the highest paid outside linebacker in the NFL, and currently Lamar Woodley holds that title with a deal worth an average of $10.25 million yearly.
Overall, the Chiefs would be making a mistake not locking Houston up long-term. They cannot afford to lose a player of his caliber, especially being in the same division as Peyton Manning. Despite Manning’s age, the Chiefs are going to have to find a way to put pressure on him if they want to have a chance to win the AFC West in the next year or two. Expect these talks to heat up over the next few days, and keep an ear open for a potential deal.