Football / Sports

Chiefs have had discussions with Jamaal Charles regarding contract extension

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. -- While the contract status of Justin Houston and Alex Smith have gotten all the ink, the Chiefs have had talks with Jamaal Charles regarding a new contract, a source told The Star on Tuesday.

The source also told The Star that the Chiefs believe Charles will report to camp on Wednesday, the first day veterans are required to attend camp at Missouri Western, regardless of whether an extension has been agreed upon or not.

A KCTV5 report surfaced late Tuesday afternoon saying Charles will hold out for more money, causing some concern about his status. The Chiefs will hold their first practice with all the veterans on Thursday.

Charles, 27, is coming off a career year in which he racked up 1,980 yards from scrimmage, scored 19 total touchdowns and made his third Pro Bowl.

Charles was in attendance for the majority of organized team workouts in June, and was also present at the beginning of offseason workouts in April. He also attended the three-day mandatory minicamp at the end of June, unlike Houston, the 25-year-old star pass rusher who is also angling for a new deal.

But if Charles did want to hold out, it would make sense. After all he did last season, Charles is scheduled to make $3.9 million in cash this season, which is third among the Chiefs' 11 projected starters on offense.

It's also about the same number that new Jaguars running back Toby Gerhart ? who rushed for 1,000 fewer yards and 10 fewer touchdowns than Charles last year, and doesn't come close to matching Charles' resume ? will make in 2014.

Charles' current contract runs through the 2015 season, in which he is scheduled to earn $6 million. By the time he hits free agency, he will turn 29 during the 2016 season -- an age when running backs tend to shows signs of decline, and have trouble getting paid.

According to NFL Players Association records, the Chiefs are currently about $9.4 million under the salary cap. However, they have also been in negotiations with Houston and Smith, who will both be free agents in 2015.

The Chiefs can only use the franchise or transition tag on one of them, so if they don't agree to a deal with one of them before free agency next season, they could be forced to make a choice between the two and let the other hit the market.

The Star reported last week that Houston is upset about the fact that he doesn't have an extension yet, but is likely to attend camp.

Smith reported to camp with the rookies and quarterbacks and has already taken part in the first two practices.

(c)2014 The Kansas City Star (Kansas City, Mo.)

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Distributed by MCT Information Services


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