His contract has been terminated.
“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 seven-year veteran, who’s been a starter in the Lions’ secondary the last four seasons after the team traded for him before the 2010 season, has been out all offseason after undergoing toe surgery.
He signed a five-year, $25-million contract with the Lions last spring, but is coming off one of the worst seasons of his career. He missed four games because of toe and foot injuries, but struggled even before the injuries started to plague him.
The 29-year-old had 44 tackles and two interceptions in 12 games last season.
Earlier this offseason, head coach Jim Caldwell expressed concern that Houston might not be ready for training camp. It appears those fears were correct.
Houston had base salaries of $3.5 million in 2014, $4.5 million in 2015 and 2016 and $6.3 million in 2017, for a total of $18.8 million left on his deal.
He had $3.9 million remaining in prorated bonus money due to him, according to spotrac.com, which the Lions will still be responsible for on their cap.
The cap savings allowed the Lions to sign first-round pick
The team also has cornerbacks