This one is easily the most disappointing long-term contract given to a Chief, but fans were pretty stoked when it happened.
Justin Houston was a third round pick by the Chiefs in 2011 and instantly made an impact for the team. He looked better and better each season and when 2014 hit, Houston became a household name.
That season saw the former Georgia Bulldog rack up 22 sacks, which passed Derrick Thomas‘ record of single sacks in a season. Houston was on fire that season and it became a huge priority to lock the linebacker up to a long-term deal.
Let’s hope Houston can start to live up to the deal or else this could really hurt the team down the stretch.
Something that worried me at the time of the deal was that Houston had missed five games in 2013 due to injury. He showed he was injury prone that season, and we’ve seen that first hand since then.
In March of 2015, the Chiefs put Houston on a non-exclusive franchise tag. That meant he was allowed to talk with other teams, but if he and another team struck a deal, Kansas City had a chance to match said deal, or else the team acquiring Houston would have to give up two first-round draft picks.
That didn’t end up happening, as the Chiefs inked Houston to a massive deal worth $101 million over six years.
It’s been a bust of a deal to this point, as Houston has only recorded 11.5 sacks in two seasons (nearly half of his entire 2014 total). He spent most of 2016 off the field due to an ACL injury he suffered late in the 2015 season.
Whether this is a case of the Chiefs not handling Houston’s injury well or him just not playing as well after those injuries, this has been a disappointing deal. Let’s hope Houston can start to live up to the deal or else this could really hurt the team down the stretch.
This was big news for Chiefs Kingdom when it happened because Houston was the anchor of the defense in both 2013 and 2014. Re-signing him was something that needed to happen, but he’s been a bust since getting paid and that’s unfortunate.
The good news, however, is that Houston was willing to restructure his contract in September of 2016, which freed up $6 million in cap room at the time. He also still has four years to prove his worth, which I’m sure he will.