After attempting to trade the veteran outside linebacker, the Kansas City Chiefs have released Justin Houston, per ESPN's Adam Schefter.
The outside linebacker carried a salary cap hit of $21.1 million, a number the Chiefs were looking to avoid for the upcoming season. The 30-year-old former third-round pick out of Georgia spent all eight National Football League seasons in Kansas City, where he logged 78.5 sacks, 32 passes defended, 14 forced fumbles and four interceptions. This past season, he started 12 games.
"Justin has made a lasting impact on this franchise and I can't thank him enough for his contributions over the years", Veach said.
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He remained a good player, but not one worthy of commanding an an average of more than $16 million per season for the final two years of his contract. He wound up starting 96 of the 102 games he appeared in over eight seasons, and his best season came in 2014, when Houston shattered the franchise record with 22 sacks and was voted a first-team All-Pro. His 78.5 career sacks rank fourth all-time in Chiefs history since the statistic became official in 1982. "I wish him the best as he continues his career".
That contract is why Houston is looking for a new team as of Sunday afternoon. Now, according to FanSided's Matt Verderame, the Chiefs have released the four-time Pro Bowler. "And I appreciate the work he put in with us". With the move, the Chiefs will save $14.1 million in cap space for 2019.
Helmets line the sidelines of the Kansas City Chiefs during a preseason game against the Baltimore Ravens at M&T Bank Stadium on August 19, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland.