Chris Houston was the best cornerback in Detroit from 2010 to 2012, and he was rewarded with a five-year, $25 million contract last offseason. Injuries struck, and now he'll only see one year of that deal.
The Lions released Houston on Friday, noting his toe surgery this offseason.
"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."
The Lions signed first-round pick Eric Ebron on Friday, and we expected to see an accompanying move to free up some salary-cap space. We did not expect to see Houston jettisoned; he's been a starter for his entire seven-year career, including four years in Detroit. But Houston's worst season was 2013, and the Lions clearly weren't confident that he would be ready to play his best this year. Houston's agent said his client will be ready for the season.
The secondary continues to look like a problem in Detroit, especially considering the great wide receivers in the NFC North. Darius Slay, Rashean Mathis and Bill Bentley should be the team's top trio at cornerback.