Football / Sports

Jamaal Charles is a no-show as Chiefs' veterans report to training camp

ST. JOSEPH, Mo. -- The reporting deadline for veterans has come and gone, and there has been no indication that running back Jamaal Charles has reported for training camp.

Charles didn't show from noon to 1 p.m. CDT, when the Chiefs allowed reporters to watch the veterans enter their dormitory at Missouri Western.

He also didn't show in the next hour, when a few veterans trickled in before the deadline.

Outside linebacker Justin Houston, who is also believed to be seeking a new deal, did not enter during that time frame, either. But a source told The Star on Tuesday night that Houston is expected to report to camp before the first practice for veterans, which starts at 3:30 p.m. Thursday.

The Star reported Tuesday that there have been discussions between Charles and the Chiefs regarding a new contract.

If progress is being made on that front, the situation could go back to the way first-round picks used to push negotiations to the brink while the agent and team hammer out details right up to the start of practice. Because of that, the Chiefs aren't officially regarding Charles to be a holdout unless he doesn't show up for the first practice Thursday.

Charles is looking to cash in on a career season in which he led the Chiefs in rushing and receiving, finishing with 259 carries for 1,287 yards and 12 touchdowns and 70 catches for 693 yards and seven touchdowns.

Charles, who turns 28 in December, still has two years left on the six-year, $28 million contract he signed in 2010. He has cap numbers of $5.2 million in 2013 and $7.3 million in 2014, but he is scheduled to be paid $3.9 million (including bonuses) in 2013 and $6 million in 2014.

According to, Charles' base salary of $2.6 million this season ranks 11th in the NFL among running backs, behind players such as Atlanta's Steven Jackson and Detroit's Reggie Bush. However, Charles was slated to earn a $1 million bonus for reporting to training camp on time.

Charles' cap number is sizeable, however, so the Chiefs could conceivably re-do his deal and still keep their roughly $9.4 million in cap space. The Chiefs will need that space to get a new contract done with Houston, whose cap number of $1.6 million will increase exponentially if he earns a deal in the neighborhood of Tamba Hali's five-year, $56 million extension.

Houston made his displeasure with his current contract known by sitting out the Chiefs' organized team workouts in June. He also skipped the beginning of offseason workouts in April.

Charles, however, attended those workouts and the team's three-day mandatory minicamp at the end of June. Yet, it remains to be seen if he will report for the most important practice, thus far.

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