Panthers cornerback Chris Houston has decided to end his NFL playing career, announcing his retirement today, according to the team (Twitter link). While the club’s announcement didn’t explain Houston’s decision, the veteran corner missed the 2014 season due to injuries.
Houston, 30, sat out last season after having been released in June of 2014 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. Now, it doesn’t appear Houston will return to the field at all.
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. Houston’s best season arguably came in 2011 when he racked up an eye-popping five interceptions and two defensive touchdowns. Houston has also reeled in two picks in each of the last two seasons. He was expected to help elevate the Panthers’ secondary in the upcoming season but, instead, he has decided to walk away from the game just six weeks after signing with Carolina.