The Detroit Lions have cut cornerback Chris Houston with four years left on his contract.
Houston’s release comes just one year after the Lions signed him to a five-year, $25 million contract.
The Lions say Friday that a “significant medical procedure” led to Houston’s release.
“Chris Houston underwent a significant medical procedure this spring,” the Lions said in a statement. “Both parties felt that the best course of action at this time is to release Chris and allow him to rehabilitate his injury away from the Club. The Lions appreciate Chris’ contributions over the years and wish him the best in his recovery.”
Houston underwent toe surgery last month. He had issues with his toe and foot throughout last year, and was limited to just 12 games because of it. The ailments appeared to hurt his play when he was on the field. Houston had not attended offseason workouts so far this year under new coach Jim Caldwell.
Houston started 54 games at cornerback the past four seasons after being acquired from the Atlanta Falcons in 2010 for two draft picks, a sixth-rounder in 2010 and a seventh-rounder in 2011.
Veterans Rashean Mathis and Cassius Vaughn both played well during the offseason practices and should compete for the other starting job while Bill Bentley and fourth-round rookie Nevin Lawson compete for nickel cornerback duties.
The termination of Houston’s contract was how the Lions managed to open enough salary cap space for first-round tight end Eric Ebron’s $12.25 million contract, which he signed earlier Friday.