What's keeping Justin Houston from camp?

August, 3, 2011
8/03/11
7:33
PM ET
Where is Justin Houston?

I’ve been getting that question a lot lately from curious (and perplexed) Kansas City Chiefs’ fans.

It’s a fair question. After all, according to the Mr. NFL Detail, John Clayton, there are just four unsigned rookies in this world of the new rookie pay scale. Three are first rounders (including San Diego defensive end Corey Liuget) and Houston. What’s wrong with this picture?

I understand that there are a few stragglers in the first round. But the fact that there is a third-round pick among the final four unsigned players, it’s a bit strange.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not placing blame on Houston. But the truth is, he better gets himself to St. Joe and get with the rest of the team.

Whether the team is being unfair or Houston is being unreasonable, it doesn’t matter. There is pressure on Houston. Third-round holdouts don’t get much leeway from the team. If Houston misses much more time. He could lose a chance to contribute early in the season.

The Georgia product has pass-rushing skills and he has a chance to make an impact. But he has to get on the practice field.

I see how there could be a disagreement in the negotiations. Houston was considered a much better prospect than a third rounder. Yet, he had some off-field concerns that made him fall. But in the end, the rookie pay scale is what it is and the Chiefs have an exact amount of its rookie allotment left. Houston is going to eventually have to take it.

So, he might as well accept the deal now and move on and try to make an impact. Third-round picks really don’t have any other choice.

Bill Williamson | email

ESPN San Francisco 49ers reporter

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