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Kansas City Chiefs franchise tag Justin Houston

The Chiefs were the first team to join in on a massive game of tag this morning.

Kansas City has placed the franchise tender on pass rusher Justin Houston just a few months after he finished the 2014 season as the NFL's sack leader (22), the team announced Monday. NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport reported that Houston will not sign the tag any time soon, per a source informed of the player's thinking. ESPN first reported the development.

NFL Media's Albert Breer reported that the tag is non-exclusive, per a source. This means that Houston can negotiate with other teams, and the Chiefs have the right to match any offer, or receive two first-round picks as compensation.

Houston is just 26 and has made three straight Pro Bowls in Kansas City. The tag, which will cost the Chiefs $13.195 million, is a relative bargain considering the mega-deal a team would have been willing to hand Houston on the open market.

With pass rushers at an increasing premium, the move ensures Andy Reid and the Chiefs the opportunity to arrange some numbers so they can invest in Houston well beyond the 2015 season.

The third-round pick out of Georgia has improved on his sack total every year he's been in the league. If he managed to do so again in 2015, he could tie or break Michael Strahan's single-season record of 22.5

The latest Around The NFL Podcast breaks down the annual "Top 101 free agents" list and discusses the latest in league news. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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