According to a unnamed source in a story by Mike Florio posted Wednesday on the Pro Football Talk web site, disgruntled Kansas City Chiefs linebacker, Justin Houston, will end his off-season holdout and report to training camp in St. Joseph, Mo on time when it opens next week.
Houston, 25, a third-round pick in 2011, wants to cash in on a new contract now instead of waiting until the final year of his rookie contract expires after this season. In order to get his message across, Houston skipped all of the team’s off-season activities and practices, including a mandatory three-day minicamp in June.
Skipping minicamp cost Houston around $70,000 in fines, plus another $25,000 in a lost workout bonus. Even for a guy scheduled to make $1.406 million this year, that’s a big chunk of change.
If Houston decided to hold out and not report to training camp, he could be fined $30,000 per day by the Chiefs. More importantly, he would be taking a chance at losing his chance to be a free agent in 2015. According to the collective bargaining agreement, if a potential 2015 free agent like Houston fails to report to camp within 30 days of the Week One Opening Game between the Green Bay Packers and Seattle Seahawks on Thursday, Sept. 4th, he loses his eligibility.
Florio quotes his source at saying that Houston is still “upset with the Chiefs”, but common sense tells him to report and continue negotiations on a new contract.
Your Chiefs Examiner is still not quite sure why Houston would be THAT upset with a team that has made him a millionaire at age 22 despite never having set foot on a professional football field at the time. Reportedly, the Chiefs rejected Houston’s first salary request for a new contract because it would have made him one of the highest-paid defensive players in the league. Neither the team nor Houston’s agent have discussed it in public. (NFL Off-Season Tagline: Hey fans … Unfounded Rumors are FUN!!!)
Having said that, Houston has flashed brilliance as a pass rusher over the last two seasons (21 sacks in 27 games) and does deserve to be paid more in today’s NFL. It is expected that the Chiefs will be able to come to terms on a new long-term contract for Houston, or at the very least will put the “franchise tag” on him so that he will be under contract for the 2015 season.
The Chiefs training camp opens up July 20 for rookies to report, and the veterans like Houston will report July 23.
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