Justin Houston Reportedly Released by Chiefs After 8 Seasons with Team

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured ColumnistMarch 10, 2019

KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI - DECEMBER 09:  Outside linebacker Justin Houston #50 of the Kansas City Chiefs celebrates after recovering a fumble late in the 4th quarter during the game against the Baltimore Ravens at Arrowhead Stadium on December 09, 2018 in Kansas City, Missouri. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images

Linebacker Justin Houston has been with the Kansas City Chiefs since they drafted him in 2011, but that will reportedly change in 2019.  

Adam Schefter of ESPN reported the Chiefs will release him after they failed to trade him for financial reasons:

This comes after Jason La Canfora of CBSSports.com reported the AFC West team was discussing potential trades involving him during the NFL Scouting Combine in late February.

Adam Teicher of ESPN.com then reported in March the team told Houston it would attempt to trade him but would release him if no deal was made. Moving on from Houston saved the Chiefs $14 million against their salary cap, per Spotrac.

While he is no longer with Kansas City, Houston has been a pass-rushing force throughout his career as a four-time Pro Bowler who tallied an incredible 22 sacks in 2014 as a First Team All-Pro. He has 78.5 sacks in his career, reaching double digits in 2012 and 2013.

There are durability concerns as he hits the open market, though, especially since he is 30 years old.

Houston underwent ACL surgery before the 2016 season and played just five games. He also dealt with a hamstring injury in 2018 on his way to 12 contests.

Still, he was effective when he was on the field last year and tallied nine sacks after he posted 9.5 sacks in 2017 in a notable bounce-back effort following the injury-shortened effort the prior year. While he has been unable to replicate his head-turning production from 2014, he has still been a solid veteran leader.

The Georgia product appeared in seven playoff games during his tenure in Kansas City but never won a Lombardi Trophy.

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