Chris Houston had a very disappointing season in 2013. Numbers don’t even begin to show the reality, and the numbers themselves are awful.
A combination of injuries and personal drama were certainly a part of what went wrong for Houston who was in the first year of a five year, 25 million dollar deal. Various ailments caused Houston to miss four games entirely and he missed the second half of the Cincinnati Bengals game, not to injury; instead he was benched for poor performance, a move he later agreed with.
Houston’s father was also arrested during the season. He was caught up in a drug trafficking case that also involved NFL wide receiver Sam Hurd. It is fairly easy to see how this could be a distraction, especially considering that it involved a player in the league and that is a very small fraternity.
The Detroit Lions do not have the luxury of breaking ties with Houston; they are instead forced to believe that he will bounce back. Unlike other salary cap cuts like Louis Delmas and Nate Burleson, Houston would actually cost the team more to cut him that it does to keep him. It would save the actual money, but the salary cap hit jumps if he’s released.
So, going into 2014, one of the Lions projected starters in Chris Houston at cornerback. He has to perform up to the level that earned him the contract, if not better. Houston is 29 this year; there will be three more years left on his deal. If he bounces back, it still ends up being a very good signing for the Lions in the long run, if he doesn’t, we’ll see more plays like the game winning touchdown by the less than stellar Tampa Bay Buccaneers wide receiver Tiquan Underwood last season.