Carolina Panthers: Chris Houston to Retire


Chris Houston we barely knew ye.

Training camp is supposed to be the time for new beginnings, but this year the biggest news out of Panthers training camp are the endings. First wide receiver Stephen Hill injured his knee and was waived soon after. Then tackle Jonathan Martin announced that he would be retiring at the ripe old age of twenty-five. Now defensive back Chris Houston is similarly calling it quits at age thirty.

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Houston was brought in to add depth in the secondary and perhaps to keep current defensive backs from getting complacent. Jonathan Jones of the Charlotte Observer went so far as to say that Houston was insurance for other recently signed corner Charles Tillman. Tillman had had injury problems in the last two seasons before joining the Panthers. Now his insurance would appear to be gone.

If Houston is indeed hanging up the cleats then he ends a career of seven years in the League. The first three were with the rival Atlanta Falcons, and the last four were spent with the Detroit Lions. His best season was 2011 when he had five picks and two touchdowns off those picks for the Lions.

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The Panthers secondary should still be in good shape even with Houston’s departure. All the core guys from last year’s facelift return and they have added Tillman at the nickelback position. It is also still early enough in camp for the Panthers to invite someone else, or they could wait to see if anyone else jettisons some experienced secondary personnel down the line.

The latter is no doubt on Dave Gettleman’s mind for offensive line help. Martin’s retirement puts that position on weaker ground once again. His loss means it is that much more important for Michael Oher to make it this season.

Next: Panthers Training Camp Update #1