On Wednesday, it was reported that the Kansas City Chiefs had signed outside linebacker Justin Houston to a six-year contract that carries a max value of $101 million. While the full details of the contract have yet to be released, early reports indicate that Houston received a $20.5 million signing bonus as part of the deal in addition to $12 million more that is fully guaranteed.
Houston’s new contract should result in him being the second-highest paid defensive player in the league and he probably deserves it after registering 22 sacks last season and 48.5 so far during his career.
So, will Houston’s new deal have any impact soon on current Steelers players: like say, for example, outside linebacker Jarvis Jones? Probably not, at least when it comes to the former first-round draft pick’s option year amount.
First, it should be noted that the Steelers will have to decide next offseason if they want to pick up Jones’ fifth-year option as the linebacker is currently entering the third-year of his rookie contract. Second, because Jones was originally drafted outside of the top 10 in 2013, his fifth-year option amount should be the average of the third through twenty-fifth highest salaries at his position. Being as Houston’s new salary will more than likely still be ranked in the top two of his position come next offseason, his contract isn’t likely to have any bearing on Jones’ option year amount as we sit here today. That of course can change.
In case you’re curious, the New York Jets picked up the fifth-year option on outside linebacker Quinton Coples this past April and that amount for the 2016 season will be $7.751 million. By the looks of things right now, Jones’ fifth-year option for the 2017 season will more than likely be slightly north of $8 million.
As it stands right now, Jones isn’t worth $8 million a season but he has the 2015 and 2016 seasons to prove that he is and all of us hope that he does just that.