Lions release CB Houston, sign 1st-round pick TE Ebron

Eric Ebron signs four-year deal

DETROIT – The Detroit Lions cut cornerback Chris Houston on Friday after the 29-year-old played four seasons in Detroit.

Houston was the most consistent contributor at cornerback for the Lions over the last four seasons. He recorded 210 tackles and 10 interceptions after being acquired in a trade in 2010. The veteran fought through a rough 2013, notching a career-low 44 tackles and struggling to contain fast receivers. He played in only 12 games during the injury-riddled campaign, his fewest as a member of the Lions.

Lions CB Chris Houston flexes some muscle

The void at secondary will likely be filled by veteran Rashean Mathis, who resigned with the team in April. Mathis and Darius Slay have taken the first-team snaps during the offseason and figure to begin the season as the two starting cornerbacks. Slay was Detroit's second-round pick in 2013 and played in 13 games as a rookie.

The Lions controversially waited until the fourth round of the draft to select a cornerback, which is considered the weakest position on the roster. First-year offensive coordinator and former Ravens secondary coach Teryl Austin will have to work with the young talent in the organization to try to field a serviceable cornerback unit.

Detroit used the extra cap space from Houston's release to finalize a four-year deal with first-round pick Eric Ebron. The tight end was the No. 10 pick overall in the draft. The Lions will hold a team option for Ebron in 2018.

With the Ebron signing, the Lions have secured all of their 2014 draft picks.