The Kansas City Chiefs have confirmed the reports that the team has placed the franchise tag on linebacker Justin Houston, which will cost them about $13.2 million in 2015.
Chiefs GM John Dorsey released a statement and made it clear that the Chiefs want to sign Houston to a long-term deal.
"Justin is a talented player and a key contributor to our defense," Chiefs General Manager John Dorsey said in a statement. "Today was the deadline to designate a franchise player, and it was in the best interest of the club to place the tag on Justin. We will continue to discuss long-term options with him and his agent. Our goal is to reach a deal that is mutually beneficial. We want to keep Justin in a Chiefs uniform for years to come."
It's not very often that a 26-year old Pro Bowl pass rusher becomes a free agent and that's for a reason -- teams usually hang onto those players. So I will say that these things usually work themselves out. I do believe that the two sides will eventually work something out ... but I can't say that for sure. This is a lot of money they're talking about.
Houston's tag will take up over $13 million in cap space. The Chiefs will need to make room for him on the cap by March 10 when free agency begins. In between that time, the Chiefs will be making decisions on the future of some players on the team in order to gain the cap space needed to accommodate Houston. Things will be busy.