It appears as tough Lamarr Houston’s time with the Chicago Bears has come to an end.
ESPN’s Field Yates reports the Bears have released the 30-year-old outside linebacker/defensive end, adding Houston will be free to sign with a new team when he’s healthy. Houston suffered a knee injury in the Bears’ preseason finale against the Cleveland Browns, but the good news was that the injury wasn’t believed to be severe. And that has to be a relief for a player who has missed 22 games since 2014 due to two season-ending ACL injuries.
Houston was on the roster bubble when he was injured in Week 4, but you can’t help but wonder if he would have made the team if healthy. After all, Pernell McPhee is still recovering from an irregularity in his knee that caused him to miss the entire preseason. It sounds like McPhee will play in the season opener, but you really can’t have enough pass rushing depth – especially when your team will face Matt Ryan, Jameis Winston, Ben Roethlisberger, and Aaron Rodgers in the first four weeks of the season.
Former GM Phil Emery signed Houston to a five-year deal worth $35 milion ($15 million guaranteed) back in 2014 when Houston was coming off a season in which he recorded what was a career-best six sacks with the Oakland Raiders. Houston didn’t miss a game in his first four seasons with the Raiders, starting in 60 of 64 contests. His clean bill of health didn’t last long in Chicago, though, as he injured himself while celebrating a sack of backup quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo late in the fourth quarter of a blowout loss to the New England Patriots. He battled back to come up with eight sacks in a full 16-game season a year later, but was injured again in 2016 in the second game of the regular season.
Houston, who finished with nine sacks in 26 games played over three years with the Bears, recently took to Instagram to say his goodbyes:
Good luck, my man.