The Kansas City Chiefs once again have a very good player who needs to get paid. His name is Justin Houston and, if you haven't heard, he's putting up a monster season. That's obviously going to cost the Chiefs quite a bit of money but this is a good problem to have. I'm sure other teams wish they had a defensive player of the year candidate, even with the big contract coming.
Joel Corry of CBS Sports joined The Drive with Danny Parkins and Carrington Harrison on Tuesday and discussed Houston's contract with the Chiefs. The conversation around Houston has been whether he could match the contract given to JJ Watt, which was $100 million over six years.
Listen to the full audio here. I pulled out a few relevant quotes below.
Will Justin Houston get JJ Watt money?
Corry: "Highly unlikely. I don't think he's going to surpass JJ Watt's contract for two reasons. One, there's a cap on his compensation at $17 million a year no matter what he does because the Chiefs will not pay him more than Alex Smith. Two, historically, defensive ends at the highest level have been paid more than outside linebackers at the highest level. In 2009 that was the last time you had the highest paid outside linebacker having a higher average salary than the highest paid defensive end. The defensive end salaries have taken off since then. Linebacker salaries have been kind of stagnant since DeMarcus Ware signed for $13 million per year at that juncture. The highest paid outside linebacker at $13.2 million is Clay Matthews."
What's the prediction for Justin Houston's contract?
Corry: "I think the agent is going to ask for more than JJ Watt. I don't think he gets it. If they don't get a deal done, he's gonna get franchised. The franchise tag number, if the cap goes up the same this year, for linebackers would be like $13.62 million. To me, if you play the franchise tag game, which is what agents do when they start formulating what's acceptable for two years, then you're talking about a $14.5 million average contract. I think ultimately the Chiefs are going to have to pay him between $14.5 and $15.5 million on an average per year basis if they want to sign Justin Houston to a long-term deal."
So if it's roughly $15 million per year, we'd be looking at a five-year contract worth about $75 million. Does that sound right to you?