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Justin Houston | Linebacker

Team: Kansas City Chiefs
Age / DOB:  (26) / 1/12/1989
Ht / Wt:  6'3' / 258
College: Georgia
Contract: view contract details
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Recent News

Chiefs franchise tagged OLB Justin Houston will not sign his tender immediately.
Clearly unhappy with the tag, a league source tells PFT that Houston is already considering waiting until Week 10 to sign his tender. By protesting the lack of a long-term deal via that path, he minimizes his risk of getting hurt while still accruing a year toward free agency. At the very least, we'd expect Houston to skip OTAs and minicamps. Meanwhile, Houston is also consulting with the NFLPA to decide whether he should file a grievance on his positional status. The Chiefs tagged him as a linebacker, worth roughly $13.17M. Defensive end franchise tags are worth roughly $14.78M. Mar 2 - 10:45 AM

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Date:

Chiefs placed the franchise tag on OLB Justin Houston.

Houston's one-year tender will be worth roughly $13.1M. It's a bargain deal for a player that has emerged as a truly elite edge defender, leading the league in sacks with 22 last season (just a half-sack short of Michael Strahan's NFL record). Over the last three years, Houston has ranked first, first and fourth in PFF's 3-4 OLB grades -- and he's just 26 years old. The Chiefs will continue to try to get a long-term deal worked out, but they were never going to let Houston play anywhere else in 2015. If Houston had hit the open market, he would have rivaled Ndamukong Suh for the richest free-agent contract.
Mar 2 - 9:42 AM

Impending free agent OLB Justin Houston was a no-show for the Chiefs' Saturday banquet, where he was announced as the team's 2014 MVP.

This may hint at Houston's intentions of staying away from team functions as he negotiates with the Chiefs. Talks are said to be "ongoing," but Houston is likely to be franchise tagged before any significant progress is made.
Feb 28 - 8:19 PM

Chiefs GM John Dorsey says he's had "ongoing" talks with free agent OLB Justin Houston's player rep at the Combine.

Despite the "ongoing" talks, the Chiefs are fully expected to apply the franchise tag to their All-Pro edge rusher. "Like I’ve said all along, I envision Justin being a Chief," was Dorsey's response when asked about the tag. The Chiefs have until March 2 to designate Houston as their franchise player.
Feb 19 - 7:50 PM

FOX Sports' Mike Garafolo reports the Chiefs have "never been close" to a long-term deal with free agent OLB Justin Houston, and are expected to apply the franchise tag.

The tag has been expected for the 2011 third-rounder, who led the league with 22 sacks in 2014. Per Garafolo, Houston may wait a while before signing. Previous reports had suggested Houston would "immediately" sign the one-year tender, but he apparently wants to make the Chiefs sweat as the sides negotiate a long-term pact. Houston turned 26 last month.
Feb 17 - 3:03 PM

The Chiefs will meet with the representatives of free agent OLB Justin Houston at the NFL Combine this week.

Per the K.C. Star's Terez Paylor, the Chiefs will hold off on franchise tagging Houston until the sides meet. The team is certainly targeting a long-term deal, but only at their price. If the sides can't come to an agreement, the Chiefs will tag Houston and he intends to sign the tag shortly thereafter.
Feb 15 - 3:16 PM

The Chiefs are expected to use the franchise tag on free agent OLB Justin Houston.

The two-week window to apply the tag opens Monday. Given that there have been no meaningful talks on a long-term deal yet, it's an easy call for the Chiefs to use it on our No. 1 free agent edge player. PFT says that Houston will "immediately" sign the tender, which means he's OK with playing on a one-year deal for roughly $11.4M.
Feb 12 - 8:34 AM

The player rep for free agent Justin Houston was seen meeting with Chiefs GM John Dorsey at last week's Senior Bowl.

It's a slow news day, indeed. Houston is repped by Joel Segal, who will surely seek top dollar for his client, arguably the top outside-edge pass rusher on the market. If Segal and Dorsey indeed met regarding Houston in Mobile, it's believed it was the first meeting of its kind since the Chiefs' season ended. Houston is going to want over $10 million per year.
Jan 26 - 4:46 PM

Chiefs Digest's Herbie Teope reports there have been "zero talks" between the Chiefs and free agent OLB Justin Houston.

The Chiefs made a big mistake by not locking up Houston last offseason. Houston was likely looking for something like the five-year, $66 million deal Clay Matthews signed in 2013, but that was before he came within a half a sack of the NFL's single-season record. Already up against the 2015 cap, Kansas City will find it difficult to match Houston's new asking price. Houston has 33 sacks the last two seasons.
Jan 17 - 10:58 AM

Speaking Monday, GM John Dorsey said the Chiefs remain in long-term talks with walk-year OLB Justin Houston.

"It’s one step at a time," Dorsey said. Dorsey's words come nine days after CBS' Jason La Canfora reported there was "not a chance" the sides reach an agreement before the year is through. Clearly comfortable betting on himself, Houston is already in line for a monster payday, but could gain even more leverage by repeating his elite 2013.
Mon, Sep 1, 2014 02:52:00 PM

CBS Sports' Jason La Canfora reports there is "not a chance" the Chiefs agree to a long-term deal with OLB Justin Houston before this season is over.

La Canfora reports the sides are "far apart," echoing a similar story from PFT published earlier this month. Houston is clearly seeking top-pass-rusher dollar, which is understandable after a dominant 2013 season. Still only 25 years old, Houston would surely break the bank on the 2015 free agent market.
Fri, Aug 22, 2014 01:09:00 PM

ProFootballTalk's Mike Florio reports a "huge" gap exists between OLB Justin Houston's demands and the Chiefs' current offer.

The Chiefs offered Houston a new contract after he reported for training camp, but Houston reportedly "didn't like it." Houston is understandably unhappy with the $1.431 million base salary he is scheduled to make in the final year of his rookie deal, and is likely looking for something similar to the five-year, $57 million deal teammate Tamba Hali received in 2011.
Tue, Aug 5, 2014 05:11:00 PM

Justin Houston has reported to Chiefs training camp, as expected.

Houston isn't happy with his scheduled $1.431 million base pay for 2014 (the final year of his rookie deal), but he's coming to camp in the hopes negotiations will continue. Even if a deal doesn't get done, Houston can take solace in knowing he'll break the bank in 2015 free agency. The outside linebacker is just 25 years old and has 21 sacks over his last 27 games.
Thu, Jul 24, 2014 11:17:00 AM

NFL.com's Ian Rapoport reports Chiefs OLB Justin Houston will report for training camp.

Houston skipped the Chiefs' entire offseason program, but isn't prepared to go to contract war. Reporting is a good-faith gesture that could get talks rolling in the right direction. Still only 25 and headed into the final year of his rookie deal, Houston has 21 sacks over past 27 games. The Kansas City Star believes Tamba Hali's five-year, $57 million deal is a potential "starting point" in talks.
Tue, Jul 22, 2014 07:35:00 PM

The Kansas City Star points to Tamba Hali's five-year, $57 million extension as a "starting point" in long-term negotiations for Chiefs contract-year OLB Justin Houston.

That's a good benchmark. Clay Matthews is the highest-paid 3-4 outside 'backer in the league at $13.2 million annually, while Trent Cole ($12.13 million) and Hali ($11.5 million) are two and three, respectively. Houston, 25, is younger than all three of them and has been a dominating edge rusher with 21 sacks in 27 games the past two seasons. He's going to break the bank, as long as he continues to rack up the sacks. Houston is expected to report to camp.
Wed, Jul 16, 2014 04:53:00 PM

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