Chiefs release OLB Houston

Chiefs Release LB Justin Houston, Saving $14 Million in Salary Cap Move - ChiefsDigest.com

Chiefs Release LB Justin Houston, Saving $14 Million in Salary Cap Move - ChiefsDigest.com

Now, according to FanSided's Matt Verderame, the Chiefs have released the four-time Pro Bowler. Releasing Houston brings the Chiefs to just more than $23.1 million in cap space with free agency kicking off on Wednesday. The issue for teams was his cost, as he would have been due more than $15 million in base salary in 2019.

The Chiefs were awful, finishing 2-14, but Houston turned in a solid second season. He was a first-team All-Pro selection in 2014. Houston had four career interceptions, returning one for a TD and 32 passes defensed.

"Not only is he a talented football player, but he's a tremendous person", Reid said. His missed the final five games with an elbow injury but returned for the Chiefs' playoff loss at Indianapolis, where he recorded a sack.

The outside linebacker carried a salary cap hit of $21.1 million, a number the Chiefs were looking to avoid for the upcoming season. The Chiefs didn't reach the playoffs, but Houston made his third Pro Bowl and was named All-Pro.

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But the six-year, $101 million contract Houston signed in 2015 made it hard for the Chiefs to keep him, and they had been seeking a trade, general manager Brett Veach recently told the Kansas City Star. It was no surprise when Oakland finished dead-last in the league in sacks with 13, by a substantial margin with the next two teams tallying 30 sacks. But he's still a useful player, as evidenced by when he was mostly healthy over the last two seasons. He picked up nine sacks with 12 quarterback hits and 37 total tackles in 12 games during the 2018 season.

Reports of Houston's pending release surfaced last week. He appeared in seven playoff games.

"He really helped set the tone", Reid said. "I have a great deal of respect for Justin as a player and person and I wish him and his family the best moving forward".

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