Chris Houston agrees with Lions' decision to release him

Chris Houston says he agreed with the Detroit Lions' decision to release him two weeks ago because of a severe toe injury.

Chris Houston says he agreed with the Detroit Lions' decision to release him two weeks ago because of a severe toe injury.

"To be a cornerback, you need that," Houston, a native of Austin, Tex., told the Austin American-Statesman.

Houston called the parting of ways with the Lions a mutual decision. He had signed a five-year contract worth $25 million last year when he became an unrestricted free agent, about $15 million of which he reportedly won't receive by getting released.

"It was something that had to be done because playing football when you're constantly hurt is not fun," Houston said. "Health comes first."

Houston, however, believes he could be ready to return by August or September. He injured the toe in a game last December and underwent surgery in May after the injury wouldn't heal.

"If I get back to 100 percent, I know I'll have another opportunity," Houston told the newspaper.

Houston is a seven-year NFL veteran who made 10 interceptions over the last four seasons with the Lions, including the only two picks by a Detroit cornerback last season.

With Houston out of the picture, the Lions are projecting 11-year pro Rashean Mathis and Darius Slay, a second-round draft pick who is coming off a rough rookie season, as their starting cornerbacks.