Yahoo! Sports' Rand Getlin is reporting via multiple league sources that the Kansas City Chiefs and Justin Houston are so far apart on a long-term contract that Houston will likely hit free agency or be hit with the franchise tag next season.
Go read Getlin's piece now because it does a nice job laying out some of the particulars of the situation, including a projection what kind of numbers Houston could get ("well north of what [JJ] Watt received", according to his league sources).
There is one thing that Getlin does not make crystal clear in the piece, and it's this: There is a zero percent chance the Chiefs let Houston go this year.
The Chiefs will franchise tag Houston next year barring a new long-term contract. There is no doubt in my mind that's the plan. I'm not citing any sources here or saying something anyone in the NFL doesn't already know. I'm looking at the situation logically. The Chiefs are not letting Houston go under any circumstances. This situation is the precise reason for the franchise tag.
Because that franchise tag is available, I'm afraid I don't see the Chiefs getting a new long-term deal done with him anytime soon. Chiefs GM John Dorsey and all negotiators need deadlines to complete negotiations. There is no deadline until the Chiefs have to make a decision on the franchise tag next March. So this situation won't be resolved anytime soon.
Just remember that all negotiations get uncomfortable at some point. Houston's camp will talk about leaving and becoming a free agent. Anonymous team sources will explain why Houston is not worth this much money. This is all typical in negotiations. The key to remember is that as long as the Chiefs have that franchise tag available, Houston is not going anywhere. We can worry about 2016 when we get there.