Chiefs’ pass-rushing linebacker Justin Houston has signed a massive extension to stay in Kansas City. It’s six years, $101 million, which are both big and somewhat imaginary numbers, but this one isn’t: $52.5 million in guaranteed money.
That’s more guaranteed cash than J.J. Watt got last fall, and more than any defensive player in the NFL except Ndamukong Suh’s massive $60M guarantee from Miami. And it’s hard to argue that Houston isn’t worth it: the first team All-Pro racked up 22 sacks last year, just a half-sack shy of the NFL record.
It’s a massive raise for Houston, who has made about $3 million total in his four-year NFL career, in which he has already made three Pro Bowls. How is that possible? Never forget that NFL front offices are filled with morons. Houston was projected as one of the best linebackers in the country, and was almost certain to go in the first round—until he failed a marijuana test at the combine. All of a sudden he had “character issues,” and teams got scared, and the Chiefs snagged him in the third round. Every NFL team passed on a chance to draft one of the best pass rushers in the world, because he smoked weed.
Houston entered today as one of the four players slapped with franchise tags, who had until 4:00 EDT today to agree to a long-term deal. The other three are Denver’s Demaryius Thomas, Dallas’s Dez Bryant, and the Giants’ Jason Pierre-Paul.