As if the timing couldn’t be more perfect, one of the formerly most-feared pass-rushers in the NFL was just released by the Kansas City Chiefs. Edge rusher Justin Houston was handed his walking papers after the Chiefs failed to find a trade partner for his services:
Chiefs are releasing four-time Pro-Bowl LB Justin Houston, per source. They had tried to trade him, but no one willing to pick up the $15.25 million base salary that was due this season. Houston now a free agent.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 10, 2019
This should come as a surprise to absolutely nobody as Houston’s contract was never going to be traded for. Houston was once the leagues premier pass-rusher as he registered 22 sacks in 2014, though he hasn’t been able to recreate the same magic since. Injuries have plagued Houston for years as he hasn’t played a full 16 games since 2014, though he still registered 9.5 and nine sacks in the past two seasons. Over his eight-year career, Houston has racked up 78.5 career sacks, 32 pass deflections, four interceptions, two touchdowns, 14 forced fumbles, 96 tackles-for-loss, and 118 quarterback hits.
Houston probably isn’t what he once was, but he’s proven he’s still a quality player who uses great technical ability and a combination of speed and power to harass quarterbacks. Since Houston was released, he also wouldn’t affect the compensatory pick formula, which makes his signing that much sweeter.