I wrote this article last week on the first "deadline" for Brandon Flowers and Justin Houston, who had been skipping the Kansas City Chiefs OTAs this offseason. The second I published it, the Chiefs were announcing Flowers has been cut. Because of that, most people missed that post so I've re-purposed it below, minus the Flowers talk.
The Chiefs have mandatory minicamp coming up Tuesday-Thursday of this week. I'm really excited for this because it's the first "deadline" this offseason for Houston, who is seeking a new contract. It's not a hard deadline -- his eventual contract extension will be worth millions more than his potential fines if he doesn't show up -- but it's something.
Will Houston show up?
I don't know. You don't know. It doesn't appear that Andy Reid knows ...
"I don't know that," Reid said Friday. "Really, it's all their decisions to come or don't come even though it's a mandatory camp. We'll see. The thing that you're guaranteed of is that we're going to coach whoever is here. We just don't really worry about the ones that aren't. We just go about our business and do our thing."
... Or he's just not telling us.
The answer here is that no one knows if he'll be here.
Can he be fined for not showing up?
All three days? $60,000. From the CBA:
Unexcused failure to report to or unexcused departure from mandatory offseason minicamp-maximum fine of $10,000 for the first missed day, which amount shall increase by $10,000 per day for each day of the player's absence or departure (e.g., a player who misses all three days of minicamp may be fined up to $60,000).
Why wouldn't he show up?
Because he's trying to get a new contract. If he doesn't put some pressure on the Chiefs and their coaching staff by not showing up for offseason workouts, the Chiefs may not be as inclined to work on a new contract for him right away.
Houston's situation is standard operating procedure in the NFL when seeking a new contract. This is not personal. He'll be back eventually and all will be well.
Does it hurt the Chiefs that he's not here?
Sure, the Chiefs would like to have him in Kansas City than not have him. Let me ask you though, when was the last time you saw a player struggling in November and it was blamed on missing June workouts? Not very often. He's not a rookie and the defense isn't changing. Hs absence means first round pick Dee Ford gets some first team reps so it's not all bad.