When news broke that the Detroit Lions had signed Eric Ebron, it was a given that something else had happened to free up the necessary cap space. Entering the day with under $750,000 in cap space, signing Ebron was impossible without a preemptive move.
Conventional thinking was that the Lions would extend or restructure an existing contract – a typical course of action for NFL teams needing to free up cap space.
But the Lions went in another, far more shocking direction. They have released Chris Houston. The team released the following statement via press release:
Chris Houston underwent a significant medical procedure this spring. Both parties felt that the best course of action at this time was to release Chris and allow him to rehabilitate away from the Club. The Lions appreciate Chris’ contributions over the years and wish him the best in his recovery.
With more dead money remaining than the scheduled 2014 cap hit, there was some confusion over the mechanics of the move. It was initially reported that an injury settlement was used to help avoid the larger cap hit but it now appears the Lions will be able to spread the hit over the next two years.
Houston struggled last season before injuring his toe late last season. The toe has been slow to heal and questions were mounting as to whether or not Houston would be able to contribute. That question has apparently been answered in a resounding no. Darius Slay has routinely been mentioned as a player ready to take a big step forward for the Lions. That now becomes a necessity.