My prediction on Justin Houston's contract is that his camp and the Kansas City Chiefs will not be able to come to an agreement by Wednesday's deadline and that Houston will have to play the season under the franchise tag. That's just a prediction based on reports that the two sides have been far apart.
There is one report among all the Houston reports that seems more positive than all the others. Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports wrote this on Monday:
Justin Houston may have the best chance of this group to actually put pen to paper this week on a long-term deal. The dialogue between him and the Chiefs has been long-ongoing, they have made significant progress and the Chiefs know that franchising him two years in a row is going to cost them well over $30 million over two years already.
Hmm .... "Best chance of this group to actually put pen to paper" ... "significant progress" ...
As the elite among the elite at rushing the passer, and just entering his prime, Houston likely falls in somewhere around J.J. Watt in terms of compensation, and I wouldn't expect it to cost less than $15 million a year to secure his services.
The hope continues to be that the deadline spurs action. I take you back to the 2013 franchise tag deadline where the Chiefs had to make a decision on the tag with Branden Albert and Dwayne Bowe as well as do something about Dustin Colquitt's contract. With only a few minutes left to the deadline and seemingly nothing going on, the Chiefs announced multi-year contracts for Colquitt and Bowe while franchising Albert. Remember that? It came out of nowhere, or so it seems. Clearly, there was more going on than we realize. What we can hope with the Houston talks is that there is a lot more going on than we realize.
It's been reported by multiple outlets that Houston's reps and the Chiefs will be resuming talks on Tuesday. If the two sides can not agree to a long-term deal by Wednesday's deadline, Houston, who has not signed the franchise tag yet, can not sign a long-term deal with the Chiefs until after the 2015 season.