The Detroit Lions have a lot of players heading towards free agency, with names like Cliff Avril and Louis Delmas usually among the first to be discussed fans and armchair general managers. However, Chris Houston is also set to become an unrestricted free agent and it isn’t crazy to suggest he is their most important.
Houton’s teammates certainly wouldn’t think so. After all, they voted him the winner of the Lem Barney award, given annually to the team’s defensive player of the year as voted by the players.
According to the advanced stats on Pro Football Focus, Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley rated higher, but Houston was one of the few others to wind up with a solidly positive rating on the Lions defense.
There is a lot of uncertainty in the Lions’ defensive backfield but Houston is a steady performer. He may have out-priced himself from what the salary cap-strapped Lions can afford but Houston is much more of a solution for a Lions defense that has its fair share of problems.