Cornerback Chris Houston was traded to the Detroit Lions for a sixth round pick on Monday, the team confirmed.
Also, as part of the deal, the Falcons will move up to the second pick overall in the fifth round and Detroit will pick 18th in fifth round. The Falcons now have at least six picks in the NFL Draft, which is set for April 22 through 24.
The Falcons are also expected to receive at least two compensatory picks during the league’s meeting later this month in Orlando. Teams are awarded compensatory picks for the players they lose during free agency in the previous year. The Falcons lost linebacker Keith Brooking, linebacker Michael Boley, cornerback Domonique Foxworth and defensive tackle Grady Jackson last season.
Less than 48 hours after signing cornerback Dunta Robinson, the Falcons traded Houston, a former second round pick.
Houston, 25, finished last season on injured reserve after suffering a hamstring injury.
Houston was 41st player taken overall in the 2007 draft. He has started 37 of 44 games over his career with the Falcons.
He became expendable after the signing of Robinson to a six-year, $57 million contract on Saturday. In addition to signing Robinson, the Falcons re-signed cornerback Brian Williams, who opened last season as the starting left cornerback before suffering a season-ending knee injury against the Chicago Bears on Oct. 18.
Houston, who has three career interceptions, played well at times, but struggled while playing the ball in the air. He was nearly benched in 2008 for his lack of physical play.
LONG SNAPPER JOE ZELENKA RE-SIGNED: Long snapper Joe Zelenka was re-signed by the Falcons. He was signed by the Falcons last Dec. 1 and handled the long-snapping duties over the last five games. Zelenka is an 11-year NFL veteran.
Former Pro Bowl long-snapper Mike Schneck, who suffered broken ribs last season, retired last week.