After not finding a trade partner for Houston's $15.25 million base salary, the Chiefs will part ways with the pass rusher ahead of free agency. Kansas City saves $14 million on the salary cap with the move, leaving $7.1 million in dead money. With K.C. needing the cap space for younger pass rusher Dee Ford, the move to cut Houston comes as little surprise.
Shedding a mainstay of their defense is the Chiefs' latest move to get younger on that side of the ball heading into 2019 under new coordinator Steve Spagnuolo.
The 30-year-old pass rusher still has plenty left in the tank and can be a difference maker for a contender, as he showed down the stretch and in the postseason last season. In 12 regular season games in 2018, Houston compiled nine sacks and 37 tackles; he added two postseason sacks. For his career in K.C., Houston gobbled up 78.5 QB takedowns, including a monstrous 22-sack 2014 campaign.
Houston might not recoup the $15 million he was set to make from Kansas City this season, but with several of would-be free agents staying put, via the franchise tag or extension (such as Brandon Graham's new contract last week), the veteran QB-hunter will have a viable market in a league in constant search of pressure producers.