The Lions have released cornerback Chris Houston, according to Tim Twentyman of DetroitLions.com. The move is the one we’d been waiting for, as it helps create the cap room for the club to have signed first-round pick Eric Ebron. Houston battled a toe problem last season and underwent surgery in May.
“Chris Houston underwent a significant medical procedure this spring,” the Lions said in a statement. “Both parties felt that the best course of action at this time is to release Chris and allow him to rehabilitate his injury away from the Club. The Lions appreciate Chris’ contributions over the years and wish him the best in his recovery.”
Houston, 29, has started at cornerback in Detroit for the last four seasons, and signed a five-year, $25MM contract with the team just last spring. The deal included a $6.5MM signing bonus, so the Lions will assume a sizable chunk of dead money by cutting the veteran this year. Because the move happened after June 1, $1.3MM of the prorated bonus money will apply to 2014’s cap, with the other $3.9MM applying to 2015’s.
Depending on the timetable for Houston’s recovery from surgery, he could become an appealing veteran pickup for another club this summer or fall. The former second-round pick won’t be subjected to waivers, so he’ll immediately become an unrestricted free agent, able to sign with any team.