Chris Houston was perhaps the Detroit Lions most important free agent for the team to retain and they have done just that.
The #Lions and CB Chris Houston have agreed to terms, source says. He’s staying there.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 13, 2013
Word came out last night that the Lions and Houston were working towards a three-year deal but the deal they agreed to today is apparently a five-year deal.
Chris Houston has agreed to terms on a new five-year deal with the Lions, according to a league source.
— Tim Twentyman (@ttwentyman) March 13, 2013
Terms were not immediately available, although Dave Birkett tweeted that the Lions had been offering in the $6 million range.
With the longer deal, it is easier for the Lions to minimize the cap hit in year one, a very important fact given their limited cap space and desire to remain selectively aggressive in free agency, especially in their chase of Reggie Bush.
Houston was easily the Lions’ top performer in their secondary over the last couple seasons. Rumors linked the Lions to other free agent corners in Antoine Cason and DeAngelo Hall but both would have been downgrades from Houston.
It is possible the Lions continue searching the free agent market for a cornerback but that is a lesser priority with Houston back in the fold. They will continue to rely on Houston as the solid veteran while developing Bill Bentley, Jonte Green and Chris Greenwood.