Kansas City Chiefs Sign Linebacker Justin Houston from The Mothership
"Today we were able to reach an agreement with Justin and his agent, Joel Segal, to keep him here in Kansas City for the foreseeable future," Chiefs General Manager John Dorsey said. "He's one of the top players in the National Football League and a premier pass rusher. As we've said from the beginning, Justin the football player, and the person, is someone we wanted to be a part of our organization. We are very happy that he will remain a member of the Chiefs."
"John, Joel and their staffs did a great job of getting this deal done," Chiefs Head Coach Andy Reid said. "Justin has a relentless work ethic on the field and in the classroom, and he provides our team with tremendous leadership. He is a fearless competitor, and we are glad he is going to be back."
Chiefs GM John Dorsey Explains Importance of LB Justin Houston's Extension from The Mothership
Because of Houston's all-around abilities, Dorsey knew the process to sign the 26-year-old superstar was going to take time and patience.
"Like I told [Houston], patience pays off," Dorsey explained. "He's a man of his word and I told him I'm a man of my word. I also can't applaud his agent enough, Joel Segal. He did a great job as well in this thing.
"I just think that when you have a player of this magnitude, you have to do a deal of this magnitude."
In order to make the kind of commitment to a player that the Chiefs just showed with Houston, it takes more than just production on the field.
It takes all of the intangible boxes to be checked off as well.
Chiefs LB Justin Houston Explains What's Special About Kansas City from The Mothership
From the end of last season up until the moment he signed his contract, Houston's goal all along was to stay in Kansas City.
"When the season ended, coach Reid pulled me into the office saying, 'It's going to get done, just be patient,'" Houston recalled. "So that's what I did."
Just because Houston filled his pockets a little bit and got the long-term deal NFL players work their entire careers to try and earn, don't expect him to sit back and rest on his past accolades.
That's just not how he's built.
Less than an hour after putting pen to paper, Houston shared what he believes this team can achieve.
"I think we can go all the way this year," he said. "We're ready to go."
Seven Things We Learned from the Justin Houston and John Dorsey Conference Calls from The Mothership
Houston regarded staying in Kansas City of utmost importance.
"I like coach Reid a lot. He's a great coach," Houston said. "He helped motivate me. Each day, he pushed me to become a better player, so anytime you can get around that, you would love to play for him."
Houston said he stayed in touch with Chiefs linebackers
Tamba Haliand Derrick Johnsonwhile he was away from the team.
"I was just checking in and seeing how everything was going," he said. "They let me know how everything was going back here."
Chiefs Player Reactions to Justin Houston's Extension from The Mothership
With the news of
Justin Houston's long-term extension hitting social media, many of his teammates took to Twitter to share in the love.
Watch All 22 Sacks from Justin Houston's Historic 2014 Season from The Mothership
It's a time for celebration.
The Kansas City Chiefs have reached a long-term extension with linebacker
Justin Houston, which will keep him in his No. 50 Chiefs jersey for the foreseeable future.
In 2014, Houston put together the best season for a pass rusher in franchise history, breaking former Chiefs great and Hall of Famer Derrick Thomas' mark of 20 sacks back during the 1990 season.
With that in mind, let's go back and watch every one of Houston's 22 sacks from his historic 2014 season.
Chiefs LB Justin Houston Doesn't Need Sack Numbers to Impress from The Mothership
The majority of the football-watching world could tell you who
Justin Houstonis and what he's about on the football field.
He's about sacks. That's not really a secret.
When you lead the NFL with 22 sacks in 2014 and finish just a half of a sack shy of breaking the all-time record (Michael Strahan - 22.5 in 2001), that's a fair thing for people to know about you.
But to pigeonhole Houston, who ranked in the top four players among 3-4 outside linebackers in both pass coverage and run defense (according to Pro Football Focus), as just a pass rusher, is selling him short.
Linebacker Justin Houston Ranked 27th in This Year's "NFL Top 100" from The Mothership
The NFL Network continued in announcing the league's top 100 players headed into the coming season on the "NFL Top 100" Wednesday night, revealing ranks 30 to 21.
Justin Houstonmade the list at number 27.
The NFL's 2014 sack champion moved up 30 slots from his position on the list last season (No. 57).
Looking Back at Justin Houston's Historic 2014 season from The Mothership
"I would trade all of this in for a spot in the playoffs."
Before we crunch the numbers of
Justin Houston's historic season and before it's put into perspective from a big-picture point of view, the attitude of the player that had this legendary season needs to be understood.
That quote was one of the first things said by Houston in the locker room after the Chiefs' 19-7 win over the San Diego Chargers in the final game of the regular season—a game in which Houston broke one of the most revered players in Chiefs franchise history's most revered record, Derrick Thomas and the single-season sack record of 20 he set back in 1990.
Houston's first remark was not about his individual accomplishment, which was widely known by everyone involved as he even approached breaking the record, but that of a team mindset.
Chiefs Download Podcast: The Chiefs Sign Justin Houston from The Mothership
Hear from both linebacker Justin Houston and Chiefs general manager John Dorsey after Dorsey signed Houston to a long-term contract on Wednesday.
Chapter 6: The Future is Now from The Mothership
The future arrived sooner than anyone could have expected, especially for Livingston, when in the midst of another dismal performance where the club found itself down 20-0 to Cleveland, Levy inserted Fuller into the lineup and he brought the team back scoring 24 points, however, in a losing effort, 27-24. It was enough for Levy and probably everybody else and Fuller was given the job.
Fuller took the team to three wins in the next five games before being replaced by Livingston in game eight after he struggled.
It was the start of a back-and-forth that would persist throughout Fuller's career with the Chiefs, some of it because of his play on the field, some because of injury (knee surgery), some of it out of his control (57-day player strike), and some due to a change in head coaches.
Chiefs sign Justin Houston to six-year, $101 million contract from Chiefs Digest
The Chiefs made sure All-Pro outside linebacker Justin Houston didn't enter the market as an unrestricted free agent on March 2 by designating him as a non-exclusive franchise player.
Kansas City has now ensured Houston won't be going anywhere in the near future by securing his services to a lucrative deal.
The Chiefs signed Houston to a six-year, $101 million deal with $52.5 million guaranteed, a source familiar with the situation confirmed Wednesday with ChiefsDigest.com. The source spoke on the condition of anonymity because the Chiefs have not officially announced the signing.
ESPN's Adam Schefter was the first to report the news.
Chiefs, LB Justin Houston agree to six-year, $101M contract from The Associated Press vis FS Kansas City
Still, the sides continued to make slow progress when the Chiefs were forced to use the franchise tag on Houston. If he signed the tender, he would have played this season on a one-year deal worth about $13.1 million, and they would have been in the same predicament next season.
So with the deadline approaching on a long-term deal, negotiations finally picked up. Segal met with the Chiefs on Tuesday, and Houston soon got a phone call to fly to Kansas City.
"I knew they weren't going to fly me out here for nothing," he said.
Perhaps the most remarkable part of the negotiations? How quiet they were. There were no leaks and no posturing, despite the high stakes.
Don't expect Justin Houston to tank after getting big contract from The Mothership
I'm not expecting another 22 sacks in 2015 from Justin Houston, though I also wouldn't be particularly surprised. What would surprise me is if Houston tanked.
I've been asked whether I believe it's a coincidence that Houston had his breakout season in 2014 in what was a contract year for him. I believe it was.
It was a matter of time before Houston busted out. He had 26 sacks in 37 starts during his first three NFL season and in that light, it made sense a healthy Houston would have a big year for the Chiefs last season.
His preparation is a reason why.
Patience pays off in contract talks between Chiefs, OLB Justin Houston from Chiefs Digest
The fifth-year pro skipped those offseason events while the Chiefs and his agent were in negotiations to have a multiyear contract or extension in place before Wednesday's league-wide deadline.
Tuesday offered a strong indication a deal was close when Houston received a phone call to come to Kansas City.
"I knew if I was flying out here," Houston said Wednesday during a media conference call, "they wouldn't have me fly out here for nothing."
Indeed, the trip more than proved worth the time and handsomely rewarded Houston's patience.
Ranking the top-five pass-rushing duos from ESPN
As Houston has grown, so has the Chiefs' defensive. In their four seasons together, Houston's sack numbers have increased each season -- 5.5 as a rookie, 10 in Year 2, 11 in 2013 and 22 last year. And it's no surprise that the more Houston reached the quarterback, the fewer points KC allowed. Opponents' points per game dropped from 26.6 in 2012 to 19.1 in 2013 to 17.6 last year. The Chiefs learned his value when he missed the final five games of the 2013 season, allowing 25.2 points and 405 yards per game without him.
Over the past four seasons, Houston and Hali have combined for 86.5 sacks. It may very well happen, but it would be a shame to see them break up after the season.
Improved offensive line performance key to Chiefs' success from Chiefs Digest
The Chiefs focused on upgrading the unit during the offseason and currently have 15 linemen on the roster.
Centers Garrett Frye and Daniel Munyer, guards Marcus Reed and Jarrod Pughsley, and tackle Tavon Rooks didn't have enough contact in spring practices to determine their ability at this moment, but are worth monitoring in camp.
Here are the remaining 10 offensive linemen to keep an eye on:
Adam Teicher, Kansas City Chiefs: I'll go with two players, both quarterbacks. The Chiefs have tried to ramp up their offense by signing wide receiver Jeremy Maclin and improving their line. They still have two of the league's best players at their respective positions in running back Jamaal Charles and tight end Travis Kelce. So the pressure is on Alex Smith accordingly to deliver more than he has in his first two seasons with the Chiefs. They have been patient with him but might feel they need something better at quarterback if the Chiefs still can't get their offense going. The other is Denver's Manning. The way last season ended for him was ugly.
Chiefs QB Alex Smith: 49ers' success 'wasn't going to last forever' from Sports Illustrated
"I knew, for sure, some of those defensive players we wouldn't be able to keep around, just contract-wise and years-wise, like Dashon (Goldson) and Justin (Smith)," Smith said to the San Jose Mercury News. "You knew some of that wasn't going to last forever. We weren't going to be able to hold it altogether from a cap standpoint and the years standpoint. You knew that was going to change."
Cairo Santos Interview from Arrowheads Abroad
TC: What are you expecting from the London crowd?
CS: I hear it is a sell out, I have never played in front of 84,000 people before. I am looking forward to playing in front of that many people. It will be really fun. To see different jerseys out there, I will be looking at the stands thinking 'oh look there is a Chiefs fan and then seeing a few more rooting for other teams.' It will basically a festival that will get to enjoy a sport that is not played professionally here in London.
10 NFL teams drop off Forbes' most-valuable list, while MLB and NBA make big gains from The Washington Post
Contrary to last year's list, when 30 of the NFL's 32 teams made the Top 50, just 20 made the list this year, which included a total of 51 teams thanks to a three-way tie for 49th place.
That three-way tie included the Minnesota Vikings, which made the list alongside the Dallas Mavericks and the Atlanta Braves. Each is valued at $1.15 billion.
The Buffalo Bills, St. Louis Rams, Detroit Lions, Cincinnati Bengals, Atlanta Falcons, San Diego Chargers, Arizona Cardinals, New Orleans Saints, Cleveland Browns and Kansas City Chiefs were all dropped from the list.
Six things we learned Wednesday at SEC Media Days from NFL.com
5. Move-in ready. Kansas City Chiefs rookie Mitch Morse (second-round pick, No. 49 overall) is trying to convert to the center position at the pro level, and Missouri offensive lineman Evan Boehmsaid Morse was readying for the move even before the Chiefs selected him. "Right after the bowl, he went to Atlanta and started training, and one of the things he did was start snapping the football. ... He's comfortable where he's at, loves where he's at, and he's a competitor and an athlete -- Mitch Morse will make the most of things," Boehm said.
Targets matter for tight ends in fantasy football from USA Today
Travis Kelce, Kansas City: The addition of Jeremy Maclin on the outside should do wonders for Kelce in the middle of the field. Kelce saw 87 targets in 2014 with only Dwayne Bowe to stretch the defense, but should crack triple-digits in 2015 because the Chiefs still have one of the worst sets of wide receivers in the NFL.