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Justin Houston, Chiefs contract deadline is 10 days away

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Current mood: not optimistic.

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July 5 marks 10 days until the deadline for Justin Houston and the Kansas City Chiefs to reach an agreement on a long-term deal.

Houston was franchise tagged by the Chiefs in March but has not signed the franchise tag so he is technically not under contract. The Chiefs, however, control his rights. The two sides have until July 15 to reach a long-term deal. If they do not reach a deal by then, Houston can not sign a long-term contract until after the season.

So is it likely that they reach a deal? I don't believe it is. Everything I have heard is that they are not all that close, although the two sides are talking. There have been threats about Houston sitting out into the season but I'm not really sure what that would accomplish, especially if they aren't even allowed to strike a long-term deal after July 15.

Plus, it's hard to see someone risking a $13 million franchise tag in a career that could end at any moment. It's best to take the money (after skipping the 100-degree days at Chiefs camp in St. Joe, of course) and keep working towards a deal next year.

My current prediction is that the two sides do not reach a deal and that Houston reports to the team after training camp (which sucks for players) but before Week 1.

I just can't imagine the Chiefs letting a scenario play out where Houston isn't a Chief for the next five years. That's what I keep coming back to: teams don't lose 25-year old Pro Bowl pass rushers very often.