Chiefs QB Alex Smith, LB Justin Houston deflect contract concerns

July 24, 2014; St. Joseph, MO; Chiefs outside linebacker Justin Houston (50) makes his way to the training camp practice field. Credit: Matt Derrick,
July 24, 2014; St. Joseph, MO; Chiefs outside linebacker Justin Houston (50) makes his way to the training camp practice field. Credit: Matt Derrick,

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. – And then there were two.

The Kansas City Chiefs kicked off the first full team training camp practice with running back Jamaal Charles, who was poised to hold out before agreeing to a two-year extension Wednesday.

“I just like to thank God first of all,” Charles said of his extension. “I’d like to thank the Hunt family, my teammates and the fans, everybody that supported me. I didn’t want to hold out. That’s not my personality. I couldn’t do it. I just wanted to get the deal done.”

With Charles taken care of, that leaves quarterback Alex Smith and outside linebacker Justin Houston.

Smith is publicly in limbo with his contract status, but he was pleased to see Charles get a new deal.

“I’m happy for Jamaal,” quarterback Alex Smith said. “The guy is one of the most special players in the league and deserved it. I’m glad to see that get done.”

But what about Smith’s situation?

“For me, you guys know how I feel about this,” Smith said. ”This is no longer the time to be talking and speculating. Certainly the people talking – my agent and the front office – I told them the same thing. When something gets finalized, come let me know. Until then, don’t bother me and that’s the way I want it.”

Meanwhile, Houston is in the same position as Smith, as both players enter the final year of their respective contracts.

And like Smith, Houston side stepped questions surrounding the negotiations on a possible extension.

“That is in God’s hands,” he said. “I am here now to play football. I am not worrying about that. I am here to help better the team, do what the coaches ask to do.”

Smith and Houston clearly didn’t want to directly address their contracts during the media session, instead preferring to shift focus to the playing field.

And they weren’t the only two desiring to get away from questions surrounding contract negotiations.

“I’m going to let (general manager John) Dorsey handle you guys with that kind of stuff,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. “I’m out of that business now.”

The Chiefs currently have $9.46 million in cap space.

McGrath retiring?

Tight end Sean McGrath, 26, reported for training camp on Wednesday, but wasn’t present on the practice field.

“Sean is working some things out right now,” Reid said, “personal things. I’ll answer for you on that later.”

Still, rumors swirled of McGrath retiring prior to the Chiefs taking the practice field, which the head coach addressed.

“We’ll see on that,” Reid said. “He’s contemplating some things and going through some things.”

The Chiefs signed McGrath on Sept. 1, 2013 and he led the all tight ends in receptions (26) and yards receiving (302).

With McGrath absent, the Chiefs practiced Thursday with Anthony Fasano, Travis Kelce, Demetrius Harris and Richard Gordon.

Commings lands on NFI list

It may have been déjà vu for many observing defensive back Sanders Commings working with trainers instead of practicing.

Reid said Commings and offensive lineman Rokevious Watkins will start training camp on the non-football injury list.

Watkins is dealing with a back injury, while Commings has what Reid categorized as a “foot strain.” Reid added Commings hurt his foot training before reporting for camp.

Commings, who suffered a broken collarbone during the first week of training camp in 2013, spent most of the regular season on injured reserve.

He participated fully during organized team activities (OTAs) and mandatory minicamp, so Thursday proved a surprise.