KANSAS CITY, Mo. – The status of All-Pro outside linebacker Justin Houston remains in the air a week after the Chiefs designated Houston as a non-exclusive franchise player.
General manager John Dorsey took a moment Wednesday to provide an update with a group of reporters and his underlying message surrounded patience.
“I think the last time I talked to his representatives was a week ago,” Dorsey said. “It’s an ongoing process, it doesn’t happen overnight. These things with players of this magnitude, it’s going to take a while.”
A week without contact between the Chiefs and Houston’s agent shouldn’t be cause to push panic buttons considering the frenzied days leading to free agency.
And Dorsey indicated there isn’t a short-term internal suspense.
“I think you can’t set hard dates,” Dorsey said, “but the good thing is both sides are communicating.”
Still, the Chiefs have one hard date to circle on the calendar.
The deadline for the Chiefs to work out a long-term contract or extension with Houston falls on July 15, in accordance with NFL rules. Houston can only sign a one-year contract after that date for the 2015 season.
Designating Houston as a non-exclusive franchise player carries a risk, albeit a remote one. A team can sign Houston to an offer, but the Chiefs would have the right to match. Should the Chiefs decline, the team signing Houston would owe the Chiefs two first-round picks as compensation.
The general manager indicated the Chiefs would address that scenario if it arises.
“I think it’s a case-by-case basis, let’s see what happens,” Dorsey said. “But I’ve said all along, Justin’s a Kansas City Chief. I’ve said that and I stand by that.”
The Chiefs on Wednesday introduced newly signed wide receiver Jeremy Maclin to the media.
While the Chiefs haven’t released contract details, various reports reflect Maclin signed a five-year, $55 million contract.
The Chiefs had to clear salary cap space to sign Maclin, and reports from the past two days indicated wide receiver Dwayne Bowe would be released in a move that would save an estimated $5 million in cap space.
The question inevitably came up during Maclin’s presser, but Dorsey made it clear that wasn’t the setting to address it.
“This is Jeremy’s day,” Dorsey said. “With Dwayne, he’s on the roster. That’s what that is. It’s a part of the process that we are going through right now. He’s here.”