Andy Reid gets it. He's been an NFL head coach for half my life. Contract disputes are nothing for him and it's not something he's going to say much about publicly. For the Kansas City Chiefs, there are two such questions: Justin Houston and Brandon Flowers, both of whom missed the start of OTAs this week.
Reid hasn't spoken to the media since the start of OTAs but he did hit his scheduled talk on Thursday afternoon after the final practice ended. Here's what the Chiefs transcript says about Reid's responses to the Houston and Flowers questions.
Q: What are your thoughts on Brandon Flowers and Justin Houston not being here?
Reid: "I've been around this a long time. I understand the business side. These are voluntary. I got it. That's not a distraction. We just focus on the guys and coach the guys that are here, and these guys are working their tails off."
Reid is correct that they are voluntary. No one is breaking any rules by missing these. But because so few players miss, it's obviously a story when they do. And players that miss OTAs usually do so for a specific reason.
Q: Are both of them not here by choice or were either of them told to not come?
Reid: "No, they weren't told not to come."
This would likely be a reference to the Flowers situation. Some have wondered if the Chiefs have told him to stay home while they work on a trade or possible release. That's all speculation right now. Nobody seems to know what's going on with Flowers' situation.
Q: Do you anticipate Justin Houston and Brandon Flowers coming to mandatory camp?
Reid: "Listen, I don't even get into that. Everybody has the dates. They know. Everybody knows the rules. Honestly, that's not where I put my focus. I've got a lot of guys that are here trying to make this football team and that's where you have to put your [focus]. When you're coaching that part, that's how I go. That's how we roll."
The Chiefs have OTAs in each of the next two weeks. The next "deadline" for Houston and Flowers would be mandatory minicamp on June 17-19. But in Houston's case, the fines in that scenario wouldn't come close to what the potential payoff would be with a new deal. We'll see how it goes.