By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
The Kansas City Chiefs have released defensive end Justin Houston on Sunday. He spent the last eight seasons with the team.
The Chiefs attempted to find a trade partner. By releasing Houston, it allows him to find a new team.Embed from Getty Images
Kansas City attempted to deal both Houston and Dee Ford. It is tricky with Ford, as he was recently franchise-tagged.
With the Chiefs moving to a new defensive scheme from a 3-4 to a 4-3 under new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo. Kansas City will have to make tough decisions to move on from players.
“Over the last eight seasons we’ve had the ability to watch Justin grow into a leader on and off the playing field,” Chiefs Chairman and CEO Clark Hunt said. “His passion helped him become one the most successful pass rushers in franchise history. We appreciate his contributions to our team and community and he’ll always be considered a part of the Chiefs family.”
The 30-year-old Statesboro, Georgia native was the Chiefs third-round pick in the 2011 NFL Draft. This past season, he started 12 games.
He had 37 tackles, including eight tackles for a loss, and 12 quarterback hits. He also had 9.0 sacks, one interception, five forced fumbles, three fumble recoveries, and one pass deflection.
“I’ve been fortunate to get to know Justin over the last six seasons, and not only is he a talented football player, but he’s a tremendous person,” Chiefs head coach Andy Reid said. “He really helped set the tone, and I appreciate the work he put in with us. I wish him the best as he continues his career.”
In his career, he has appeared in 102 games, including 96 starts. He has 381 tackles, including 96 tackles for a loss, and 118 quarterback hits. He also recorded a safety in his career.
He has 78.5 sacks, four interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown; 14 forced fumbles, 10 fumble recoveries, including one returned for a touchdown; and 32 pass deflections.