Chiefs release Justin Houston

The Kansas City Chiefs have released veteran linebacker Justin Houston after they were unable to work out a trade, freeing up $14 million in much-needed salary cap space.

   The 30-year-old Houston signed a $101 million, six-year deal with the Chiefs in 2015 that was at the time a record for a defensive player. But Houston has been slowed by injuries the past four seasons, and has been unable to replicate the 22-sack season that helped him land the contract.

   He was due $15.25 million this season. The Chiefs will take on $7.1 million in dead money.

   Houston departs Kansas City having started 96 games and appearing in 102 over eight seasons. He had 78 1/2 sacks to trail only Derrick Thomas, Tamba Hali and Neil Smith in franchise history.