Panthers Sign Chris Houston

The Panthers added some interesting veteran depth to their secondary today, announcing (via Twitter) that they’ve signed cornerback Chris Houston. To make room on their roster, the Panthers cut another cornerback, Jocquel Skinner.

Houston, 30, sat out the 2014 season, having been released almost a year ago to the day by the Lions. At the time, Houston had recently undergone surgery on his toe, and the team cited his recovery from that “significant medical procedure” as the primary reason why he was let go. The cornerback’s agent said in the wake of his release that he expected his client to return to the field in 2014, but that didn’t happen.

Before he missed the 2014 campaign, Houston was a longtime starter at cornerback in Detroit, having signed a five-year, $25MM contract with the team just a year before he was cut. While the Lions carried a chunk of dead money from that deal on their cap, the Panthers will get Houston at a much cheaper rate. If it turns out he’s not fully healthy, or not as effective as he was before his injury problems, Carolina should be able to cut ties with Houston at little or no cost.

In Carolina, Houston will join a group of cornerbacks that includes Josh Norman, Bene Benwikere, Melvin White, and fellow free agent signee Charles Tillman.

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