Chiefs GM: Everything is fluid on Houston trade buzz

INDIANAPOLIS -- Kansas City Chiefs general manager Brett Veach didn't refute reports that Justin Houston is available for trade.

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Wednesday night that the Chiefs have engaged in trade talks involving their former All-Pro outside linebacker.

Veach was asked about the reports Thursday morning from the NFL Scouting Combine.

"Obviously, I've seen it myself out there," Veach said. "Listen, Justin Houston is a great player and our deal is to acquire and maintain as many great players as you can. I think this time of year I'm no different than any other GM standing on the podium. There's 32 teams here, every personnel member is here, and we're staying in the same hotels. So, there is a lot of dialogue and I think right now we're just in the process of collecting information and working with what we have. And we'll leave here and get together again and discuss and see what we can do to make our team better."

That's certainly not a no.

The 30-year-old is due $15.25 million in base salary in 2019 with a $21.1 million salary cap hit.

Veach was pressed on whether Houston would be with the Chiefs in 2019.

"I would say, he's under contract for this year, next year," he replied. "Again our plan is to play with him and you look forward to having him on our roster, but there is a lot of dialogue. I think everything is fluid for the next few weeks until we get into the new league year. And we'll kind of handle that as the information we get, what's real, what's not real and it's a good problem to have because he's a great player."

Houston is still a good pass rusher in a league in constant search for edge pressure. But with the franchise tag coming for Dee Ford, is Houston worth a $21 million cap hit for the Chiefs this season? Probably not.

Whether K.C. can find someone to take on the final two years of Houston's contract remains to be seen. Trade chatter during the combine generally indicates a player is a cut candidate if the team can't get any sort of compensation in return. After eight great seasons, Houston might have played his last down in a Chiefs jersey.

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