The Chiefs began their first practice of OTAs without two key players.
Both outside linebacker Justin Houston and cornerback Brandon Flowers were not in attendance when the first of 10 voluntary organized team activities kicked off on Tuesday.
Houston’s absence is likely related to his contract. He has only one year left on a rookie deal that will pay him $1.4 million this season, which will make him the second-lowest paid projected starter on the entire defense.
Houston, 25, is coming off a career year in which he racked up 12 sacks in 11 games.
It’s unclear why Flowers, 28, is not in attendance. He still has $30 million due to him on a contract that will run through the 2016 season. He made the Pro Bowl last season despite some injury issues and a handful of rough performances. The Chiefs drafted Rice cornerback Phillip Gaines in the third round and practiced him at left cornerback during the recent rookie minicamp, which is Flowers’ primary position.
Several of the Chiefs’ other notable veterans, including safety Eric Berry and linebackers Derrick Johnson and Tamba Hali are in attendance.