After he skipped the entirety of organized team activities and the Chiefs’ recently completed mandatory minicamp, it’s still uncertain if outside linebacker Justin Houston will report to training camp.
To that end, Chiefs coach Andy Reid made it clear Thursday that when it comes to the camp availability of Houston, who is dissatisfied with his lack of a long-term deal, Reid and his staff will just have to play it by ear.
“(Both sides) are continuing to talk, and whether he’s here or not, that just depends on how things go,” Reid said. “So we’ll continue to move on and hope that he is here at the beginning of camp.”
The Chiefs have until July 15 to work out a long-term contract with Houston, who has been offered a one-year, $13.1 million franchise tender by the Chiefs.
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Because Houston is a nonexclusive franchise player, other teams can offer him a contract that the Chiefs could choose to either match or reject. If they reject it, the Chiefs would receive two first-round picks from the team that signs Houston.
On Thursday, Reid was asked when he needs Houston to return to the team.
“When they get it done,” Reid said. “I don’t get caught up in all that, never have. I’ll let the business side of it take care of itself and move on. And then if a man misses (time), it’s another man’s reps, so that’s how we go.
“There’s a lot of rules and regulations but I don’t get caught up in that — that’s what Dorse (general manager John Dorsey) does. I have trust in both sides, actually, that they’ll get something done.”
Reid says he is confident Houston, who also skipped OTAs last year and responded with a career season, is keeping in good shape. Houston has infrequently posted videos of his workouts on Instagram while he’s been away.
“Do I think he’s working out? Absolutely. That’s him by nature,” Reid said. “He’s not going to let (conditioning) things slide on his side.”