Alex Smith is not the only member of the Kansas City Chiefs who is looking for a new contract as outside linebacker Justin Houston is seeking a new contract that will keep in Kansas City beyond this season as his rookie deal is scheduled to expire at the end of the 2014 season.
Houston, 25, did not show up during the offseason workouts as he expressed his frustration with the lack of progress in contract talks, but he did report to training camp on time in an effort to expedite talks between he and the Chiefs.
The Chiefs did offer Houston a new contract, but that offer presented a “huge” gap , according to Pro Football Talk between what the team offered and what Houston is expected to receive after back-to-back strong seasons.
Houston has started 37 games in his first three seasons since the Chiefs took him in the third round out of Georgia in the 2011 NFL Draft and has 21 sacks in his last 27 games over the last two seasons, including 11 in 11 games last year. He is scheduled to make $1.4 million in the final year of his rookie deal.
The Chiefs can always elect to place the franchise tag on the former Georgia Bulldog or they may have to decide to sign either Smith or Houston.
That decision could be made easier depending on the development of first round pick Dee Ford who is currently behind Houston on the depth chart. If Ford has a strong rookie season, it could make the decision to part with Houston a little more palatable.