KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Fears of an extended summer holdout from Chiefs outside linebacker Justin Houston may no longer apply.
Houston, who enters the final year of his contract, is expected to report for training camp without a contract extension, a source confirmed with ChiefsSpin.com Wednesday evening.
Nevertheless, Houston is “upset” over his contract situation, according to the source. A report on Houston’s camp status first surfaced Tuesday evening from Rand Getlin of Yahoo! Sports.
Meanwhile, Chiefs rookies and quarterbacks report for training camp on July 20, with veterans reporting July 23. The first practice open to the public is July 24.
Houston, 25, has three accrued seasons, which offers extra incentive to report. The two-time Pro Bowl selection needs four accrued seasons to become eligible for unrestricted free agency in 2015.
In accordance with Article 8, Section 1 (b) of the Collective Bargaining Agreement: “A player shall not receive an Accrued Season for any League Year in which the player is under contract to a Club and in which he failed to report to such Club at least thirty days prior to the first regular season game of that season …”
Given the 30-day requirement to the start of the regular season on Sept. 4, Houston could choose to report before that window expires given his displeasure over his current deal. But going that route would prove costly, as a late reporting or unexcused absence during training camp incurs a $30,000 fine per day in accordance of the CBA.
Former NFL agent Joel Corry, currently an NFL contracts and salary cap expert for CBS Sports and The National Football Post, doesn’t agree with that approach.
“The Chiefs know this,” Corry said in a telephone interview. “They know he’s not going to risk the year’s service towards free agency.
“A holdout is not going to create any additional leverage for him. Normally if you’re going to hold out, it’s really going to take at least the third week of the preseason or longer before you’re going to get a new contract. That’s kind of a losing strategy for him because if you do hold out past Aug. 5, you’re all-in.”
Houston previously missed voluntary organized team activities (OTAs) and mandatory minicamp. Houston became subject to a $69,455 total fine for missing the three days of minicamp.
The Chiefs have been publicly quiet surrounding contract extension negotiations with Houston, who is scheduled to earn a base salary of $1.4 million in 2014, according to NFLPA records.
Meanwhile, Houston comes off a 2014 season where he recorded 11 sacks, marking the second straight season with double-digit sacks (10 in 2013).
He earned AFC Defensive Player of the Week in Week 1 and Week 3, and was named the AFC Defensive Player of the Month for September.
The Chiefs selected Houston out of Georgia in the third round (70th overall) of the 2011 NFL Draft. Houston has 26.5 sacks for his career.
He is the third-fastest Chiefs player in team history to achieve 20 sacks to start a career, a feat Houston accomplished in 35 games ranking behind Derrick Thomas (25 games) and Jared Allen (30 games).
Houston’s 26.5 sacks since 2011 ranks favorably among the league’s highest-paid outside linebackers, including Green Bay Packers linebacker Clay Matthews (26.5 sacks) and Chiefs teammate Tamba Hali (32 sacks).
Matthews, who entered the league in 2009, signed a five-year, $66 million extension in 2013. Hali, who entered the league in 2006, signed a five-year, $57.5 million deal in 2011.
Houston’s original base rookie deal was a four-year, $2.8 million contract.