The Kansas City Chiefs released outside linebacker Justin Houston on Sunday, saving $14 million in salary cap space.
Multiple outlets reported the Chiefs tried to trade Houston, but no team was willing to take on his $15.5 million salary for 2019. Houston was set to count $21.1 million against the cap, which will be reduced to a dead-money hit of $7.1 million.
“Justin has made a lasting impact on this franchise and I can’t thank him enough for his contributions over the years,” general manager Brett Veach said in a statement. “These decisions are never easy. I have a great deal of respect for Justin as a player and person and I wish him and his family the best moving forward.”
Houston, 30, missed four games to injury in 2018 but still managed nine sacks and 12 quarterback hits, after posting 9.5 and 20, respectively, in 15 games in 2017. However, he has missed 21 games to injury over the last four seasons and hasn’t made the Pro Bowl since 2015.
—The Oakland Raiders have an agreement in place to trade former All-Pro guard Kelechi Osemele to the New York Jets, multiple outlets reported.
According to the Bay Area News Group, the Raiders will receive a fifth-round pick while sending a sixth-rounder to the Jets. The deal cannot become official until the new league year begins Wednesday.
Osemele, 29, missed five games to injury in 2018 and allowed four sacks, his highest figure since his rookie year of 2012. He has two years remaining on his contract, with unguaranteed figures of $10.2 million in 2019 and $11.7 million in 2020. The Raiders will save the full $10.2 million from their cap this year.
—The Detroit Lions are releasing cornerback Nevin Lawson, according to multiple reports, saving $4.675 million of his $5.8 million cap figure for 2019.
Lawson, who turns 28 in April, had signed a two-year, $9.6 million extension last March. He started 45 games for Detroit over the last three seasons, notching 18 passes defensed.
—The Cleveland Browns are releasing tight end Darren Fells after being unable to trade him, multiple outlets reported, saving $2.3 million of his $3.7 million cap figure for 2019.
Fells, who turns 33 in April, joined Cleveland on a three-year, $12 million deal last March. He caught 11 passes for 117 yards and three touchdowns in 16 games last season while serving primarily as a blocker.
—The Denver Broncos tendered restricted free agent defensive tackle Shelby Harris at the second-round level of $3.095 million, according to multiple reports
Harris, 27, will make about $1 million more than the original-round tender, which would have allowed other teams to sign him away from Denver for a seventh-round pick instead of a second-rounder. A former Raiders seventh-round pick who was cut by three teams before joining the Broncos in 2017, Harris has seven sacks and 16 QB hits over the last two seasons.
—Field Level Media