The Kansas City Chiefs gave Justin Houston a record breaking deal for a pass-rushing outside linebacker, which means it puts the Denver Broncos and San Francisco 49ers in a tough spot when they have to re-sign Von Miller and Aldon Smith next year.
Houston’s contract, just like the deals for Dez Bryant and Demaryius Thomas, sets some sort of precedent in the outside linebacker position, especially for valuable pass rushers. It’s the standard for next year’s negotiation, which means teams and players who were figuring out a certain sum are now looking at the contract talks in a whole new way.
Houston signed a six-year, $101 million deal, with $32.5 million in guaranteed money which can rise to over $50 million. He’s one of the few non-quarterbacks to receive a $100 million deal, which now might mean that certain pass rushers are going to start making quarterback-type money.
Houston is special, making the last three Pro Bowls, a first-team All-Pro selection last season and his NFL high 22 sacks. He’s just 26, so barring any serious injuries, he should remain highly productive for the remainder of his contract. But he’s not the only one with impressive numbers coming off his rookie deal.
The Denver Broncos will have to deal with Von Miller next year. The second overall pick in the 2011 draft has been fantastic in his four seasons with the team. He did miss seven games in 2013, but other than that has been good enough to make the Pro Bowl each season and even one time the All-Pro first team, picking up 49 sacks in 56 games. The Broncos have the big deal they have with Manning to consider, and laos the contract they just signed with Thomas.
The 49ers aren’t too happy about he kind of money Justin Houston received either. They have Aldon Smith to re-sign. Off field problems aside, he’s a menace on the football field, although this season will tell us just how good he really is, not playing with Justin Smith for the first time in his career. He’s also missed 14 games over the last two seasons, so unless he has a monster 2015 (which very well might happen), the 49ers might have caught a break with him.