The Kansas City Chiefs and linebacker Justin Houston agreed to a long-term contract that will pay him $101 million over six years. The extension will not only make him the team’s highest-paid player ever, but also the highest-paid linebacker in NFL history.
Do the numbers justify the contract for the 6’4, 258 pound, four-year vet? Houston’s recorded 248 tackles, 48.5 sacks, 19 passes defensed, one interception, seven forced fumbles, four fumble recoveries and 71 quarterback pressures in four seasons with the Chiefs (2011-14). He led the NFL in sacks (22.0) in 2014 and set the franchise’s single-season sack record, passing late Pro Football Hall of Famer Derrick Thomas’ previous record of 20.0 recorded in 1990. He was 0.5 sack shy of the NFL record (22.5). Houston has recorded 13 multi-sack games, seven of those were recorded this past season.
“He’s one of the top players in the National Football League and a premier pass rusher. As we’ve said from the beginning, Justin the football player, and the person, is someone we wanted to be a part of our organization. We are very happy that he will remain a member of the Chiefs,” said General Manager John Dorsey.
Houston’s deal guarantees him $52.5 million and makes Houston the NFL’s second-highest-paid defensive player behind Miami defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh (six years, $114 million). Houston’s deal is more than Houston Texans J.J. Watt’s six-year, $100 million extension with $51.8 million guaranteed.