The Kansas City Chiefs placing the franchise tag on Justin Houston has potentially created an interesting dynamic for another outside linebacker on the team.
Houston has no plans to sign the franchise tag any time soon, according to multiple reports. One of his options is to wait it out until Week 10 of the 2015 season, at which point he can return to the team under the franchise tag and play out the rest of the season to try free agency again in 2016. As long as he reports by Week 10, Houston could do this and still be eligible for free agency in 2016.
Houston is also under the non-exclusive franchise tag per reports. That leaves him open to the possibility that another team would be willing to sign him to an offer sheet and give up two first round picks to the Chiefs.
Neither seems likely but those are two scenarios where Houston isn't playing for the Chiefs for at least part of the 2015 season.
So all this made me wonder. If those options are on the table for Houston, does that change the Chiefs plans with Tamba Hali this offseason?
The Chiefs can save nearly $9 million off the cap by releasing Hali. That is money that they will likely need not only to make room for Houston's franchise tag (which must be accounted for on the cap by March 10) or for other signings this offseason.
Tamba has talked about wanting to be in Kansas City and potentially taking a pay cut - but no one has put a number on what that pay cut could be.
With the Houston situation unresolved (for now), I do wonder if the Chiefs feel more pressure to hang onto Tamba. I don't know the numbers behind what would make it work but it would make me feel a little more comfortable knowing Tamba is there with Dee Ford in the event that Houston shows up late or doesn't show up at all, however unlikely that may be.
There's also the possibility that Houston signs the tag soon or the Chiefs sign him to a long-term deal and this is all for naught. The point is that the Chiefs GM has to be prepared for every possibility that could unfold this offseason.
Does today's franchise tag for Houston change anything, in your mind, with Tamba?