Chris Houston traded to the Detroit Lions; Zelenka re-signed

Falcons cornerback Chris Houston snags a pass intended for the Panthers' Steve Smith in the closing seconds of the game to seal Atlanta's 28-21 win over Carolina at the Georgia Dome. Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com

Falcons cornerback Chris Houston snags a pass intended for the Panthers' Steve Smith in the closing seconds of the game to seal Atlanta's 28-21 win over Carolina at the Georgia Dome. Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com

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.

101 comments Add your comment

Monkdaddy

March 8th, 2010
6:52 pm

Woohoo!

I hate to give up a second rounder for 6th and a better fifth but it just wasn’t working out

DMajor

March 8th, 2010
6:58 pm

We got hosed.

Tosin

March 8th, 2010
7:01 pm

What happened to the forth-round pick!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

gamach1

March 8th, 2010
7:06 pm

Hey, we got rid of Toast the second. Good deal. Good Luck in Detroit, and now for some D line help we will be solid.

Techbuzz

March 8th, 2010
7:06 pm

Enter your comments here

ATLJBO

March 8th, 2010
7:06 pm

Jamaal Anderson is next …lol

Houston first then Anderson Next

March 8th, 2010
7:11 pm

I am glad he is gone, It is terrible what we got for him, but Anderson was a first rounder and we will get nothing for him.. We need to get rid of all Petrino picks and move on.

DJ

March 8th, 2010
7:12 pm

Houston was done when #21 got on the field – he wasn’t going to get his starting job back even without the DR signing. Now for the DE.

WHOUWITATL

March 8th, 2010
7:13 pm

We could have gotten a better deal, if Houston had performed better in games and not look lost out there.

ernisTbass

March 8th, 2010
7:13 pm

Got to admit the dude has had the best view of ESPN highlite shots for a while now. Steve Smith will miss him. DOL if they swamp trades does that mean they have to pick a player from FLA???

STL Falcon

March 8th, 2010
7:14 pm

There is no reason to believe that there isn’t a bigger plan involved here. TD has shown time and time again that he’s a step ahead of all of us. I’m very eager to see what happens between now and the draft.

J.J.M.

March 8th, 2010
7:17 pm

How many picks will we have?

Jack

March 8th, 2010
7:17 pm

how can you say we got hosed. If there was an 8th round pick I would of been satisfied with that. Anytime you can get a pick for someone that could not cover my grandma in a wheelchair is a good deal. Now sack jamal please. Go Falcons

Eugene Robinson

March 8th, 2010
7:17 pm

D.O.L. what’s the status on Peria Jerry’s knee? Should we expect a full recovery by training camp?

J.J.M.

March 8th, 2010
7:20 pm

lmaoooo@jack

Tailback U

March 8th, 2010
7:29 pm

Well it look likes my fear was realized. The GM’s across the
league watched that NFL commercial with Houston about to get
toasted by Steve Smith again one too many times.
How about the next time the NFL wants to use one of our
defensive players in that kind of ad we suggest they look elsewhere.
On a serious note Houston is likley wortn a little more but
the teams knew we were likely to cut him loose anyway.
And it is hard to get the maximum value in a case like that.
At least we won’t have to watch him cover someone pretty well
only to watch it fly right past his head and into their hands
anymore.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

March 8th, 2010
7:29 pm

The Falcons have six picks. Expected to get at least two more compensatory picks.

Eugene Robinson: My man Eugene. Enjoyed our year together in Green Bay! Peria Jerry is expected back by training camp, according to coach Smith today.

Terrell

March 8th, 2010
7:31 pm

Houston first then Anderson Next,

According to you then we should get rid Justin Blalock too. He’s one of Petrino’s picks

Scooter

March 8th, 2010
7:37 pm

I wish “burnt toast” the best of luck. Petrino’s picks are not paying off. Except for maybe Nicholas, If my memory serves me correct. What do you guys think? We draft weatherspoon in the first then go OL and TE the next few picks and draft a strong kicker in later rounds?

Trent

March 8th, 2010
7:48 pm

I would have given up Houston for a honey bun and a 12 oz milk, That’s all he is worth. I’m glad we got something for him.

BravesFanSince1961

March 8th, 2010
7:48 pm

It won’t be quite so entertaining to watch Mr,. Houston get beat then flail his arms without looking for the ball to draw a pass interference call now. But I agree that a top flight TE needs to be drafted. While I think Tony G will last for another year or two; we need to start looking forward to when he retires.

Oh: LAST!!!! :)

Jack

March 8th, 2010
7:58 pm

Trent honey bun and milk? I think you are over paying. Maybe just a honey bun:) Thank god for Detroit

Seriously is there any notable linebackers left in free agency.

tyrap23

March 8th, 2010
8:00 pm

I think the falcons are pissing in the wind and it’s blowing back on them…u got a bentley, but you gone trade it in for an older crystler-fake bentley…u got to be kidding me! I think they den made Houston-23 mad and now he gone do em bad! Even if its with Detroit…watch!!!!!

Go Falcons!!!

March 8th, 2010
8:00 pm

First!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ATL Fan

March 8th, 2010
8:02 pm

Not so fast BravesFanSince1961, I’m laster!!!
Scooter, I think you’re on the right track with Weatherspoon and offense. Who knows about kicker?!?
Detroit…We have a Houston.

26.2

March 8th, 2010
8:02 pm

DLED A sixth and a swap of 5th’s seems a little cheap for a guy that should be able to be a fifth defensive back in passing situations. Any hint on a “not seeing eye to eye” issue???? thanks

**Frederick (Bailey) Douglass**

March 8th, 2010
8:07 pm

Falcons are in the mix. I like it…we are working to get better. Signing the new #23 was a move in the right direction. I think he is the type of veteran CB that we need. However, letting Houston go for a 5th round pick…suspect. Remeber Laurent Robinson last year? #83 Douglas gets hurt and all of sudden we are signing 33 year old out of work receivers that are playing catch with their teenage sons. No, Booker was not the answer but Laurent Robinson could have been.

The point: While I never want to see Chris Houston locked on a #1 receiver in a Birds uniform again…I do believe that he is better than Chevis Jackson, Jamal Fudge and Erik Coleman in coverage. Simplify the game for him…let him play nickel, strong safety on obvious passing situations. Just because his head got banged around during the CHI game last year (has not been right since), it does not mean that he can’t contribute as a situational DB. But…we would rather skower the waiver wire looking for help than coach up this guy who really does have something to offer.

Whatver the case, Dimitroff has focused on the first piece of the equation…now seal the deal by grabbing Brandon Graham during the draft:

Athletic, young DEs and DLs + a mix of veteran and young LBs + veteran, seasoned DBs = Solid Group Defense

FBD

boilerup

March 8th, 2010
8:11 pm

I cringed every time the ball was thrown in his direction. Wow, both Arkansas players are poop.. Jamal A. needs to go by, by too.. It’s sickening watching him. After releasing him were in great shape.. Draft a Boiler… Go Falcons

tjhook

March 8th, 2010
8:14 pm

Did I hear that someone wants to get rid of Blaylock?! I’m getting in that line, I hate watching this fat boy flail at his defenders and just fail to move four yards upfield. There HAS to be someone who can take his job. Look him up on youtube or something. He’s not getting recognized for his inabilities.

Breesnotthe

March 8th, 2010
8:33 pm

Tyrap please tell me you are not comparing Houston as a bentley and Robinson as a chrysler wanna be

ET

March 8th, 2010
8:37 pm

Hey ATL Fan , If your laster… then I’m lastest.

not so fast my friend

March 8th, 2010
8:52 pm

BravesFan, you must’ve lived in Milwaukee in ‘61. I still think Houston was better than Coleman in coverage…neither one was really worth an NFL roster. Finally, yes, we would have been better off with Laurent Robinson last year, but you can’t go into a season planning on keeping a guy in case your starter goes down. There’s only 53 spot on the roster. You have to have the best 53, maybe that means weakening yourself in one spot so you can strengthen another. Speaking of strengthening another, I think it might be time for Jamaal to find another franchise. He’s not doing well here.

Houston first then Anderson Next

March 8th, 2010
9:16 pm

Terrell,
The way the Offensive line played this week. NO ONE Should be safe, It was proven that regardless if it was Ryan or Chris Redman, they had ZERO time to throw the ball. Justin is the least of our Problems, but he also wasn’t a 1st round or second round pick!!!
By the way who defends PETRINO? What are you a Arkansas Fan?

Houston first then Anderson Next

March 8th, 2010
9:19 pm

I meant how the offensive line played year.. fyi

matt r

March 8th, 2010
9:29 pm

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2007_NFL_Draft

Looking back on that 2007 draft, what a disaster for Atlanta, with Petrino and the last year of McKay as GM. Snelling at the very end of the draft is the only bright spot.

Falcons 4 Real

March 8th, 2010
9:34 pm

A 6th rounder and a higher 5th doesn’t seem like much compensation but it’s better than just cutting him. Besides, we really got great picks out of the Schaub and Hall trades, some you win, some you lose and it was a buyer’s market on this trade. I hope he does well in Detroit as he’s still got a ton of ability but after 3 years we still couldn’t tell what what sort of player he is, for whatever reason he just couldn’t finish plays. With Dunta in the fold and if Brian Williams comes back 100% we will be very solid at the corners. DL still has me worried, the ends are promising but inexperienced and with Jerry returning from injury and Babs legal status in the air DT could be a concern.

Iron Head

March 8th, 2010
9:41 pm

Hey sports fans, anyone have the skinney on Greg Ellis would he be a good pickup? I know he’s long in the tooth but we need help up front.

Dawgs2010

March 8th, 2010
9:45 pm

Yes. The 2007 Draft was terrible. The last staff didn’t exactly leave the cupboard stocked full of talent. This is still part of removing the past to make way for the future. TD couldn’t cut the entire team in the spring of 2008. He needed to hang on to a few guys.

We will be fine. Besides that 5th round pick is like picking at the end of the 4th.

josh cook

March 8th, 2010
9:54 pm

Anderson & Blaylock definately need to leave. Neither have produced & Abraham needs some kind of help if he is to be effective. I dont like coleman either, i believe you need an instinctive probowl safety as they are our last line of defence. After all we were very bad against the pass. My only hope is that Witherspoon falls to 19th. i believe TD will combine later round picks with players [i.e. Anderson] to try to acquire a 2nd round pick.

josh cook

March 8th, 2010
10:09 pm

I would pick up Sharper if the price isnt too high. I’d rather DeCoud learn from him than Coleman. If i’m not mistaken it was coleman & brooking who blew the play that would have kept us in our last playoff game by double covering the 5yd receiver on a 3rd or 4th & 15 play allowing the 1st down marker to be reached.

Dirt Diggler

March 8th, 2010
10:24 pm

Is that all we could get? Jamal better watch his back, they might trade him for a six pack and a sausage dog.

GT Fan

March 8th, 2010
10:28 pm

Great job management..keep up the good moves.

Adam

March 8th, 2010
10:35 pm

Excellent – feeling better about this season already. Hopefully, TD can now get into the second round. If we come out of the draft with a new DE and OLB, I’ll be thrilled. (Get Dunlap – he’s a beast!)

And, Dirt, do you really think we could get a sausage dog and a six pack for Jamaal??? I’d be happy with a bologna sandwich and half a bottle of Tab.

Skidawg

March 8th, 2010
10:36 pm

LAST!!!! heyheyhey (starts here)

willie

March 8th, 2010
10:39 pm

Even in a deep draft, a 6th rounder is worthless (and I don’t want to hear about the miracle Tom Brady pick), but obviously we couldn’t get any more. Man, I had high hopes for Houston, too, but he just couldn’t get his head around ever!

Jeff

March 8th, 2010
10:42 pm

I wish the NFL would expand the rosters, if only by 2 or 3 players… with a 55 or 56 man roster, teams could keep that one extra special teams standout, that 5th receiver, that one extra LB or DB that can be a good starter if a front-line guy goes down…

I think it’s interesting that as the league has expanded, become more physical, and much more specialized, roster sizes haven’t really changed in 20 or 30 years. Time to add just a couple of extra guys per team so that two or three injuries where guys miss significant time won’t cripple a team.

thunderbull56

March 8th, 2010
10:56 pm

Falcons trade 1st round pick to Cowboys for their defensive leader.Yep,’ole seven yards past the line of scrimmage Brookin’s.After rallying the “POKES” in the playoffs,TD and MS realized what a mistake they had made releasing the former franchise ICON.They also hired today former coach Marion Campbell,AKA, the Swamp Fox,to rejuvenate Aundray Bruces career.Fox was quoted as saying,”Jamal couldn’t carry Aundray’s jock strap.” In a further fury of free agent activity,TD and MS, hired Jerry Glanville to sing the national anthem and see what residual value could be obtained from Bruiser Broussard at running back.Bobby Hebert in drag was quoted saying,”Waffle House?They sell steaks?”Meanwhile, Bobby Pettyrino was hollerin’ SOOOYYY at the top his lungs.Dan Reeves is quietly wondering; “Vick?,What the hell was I thinking?John Elway he ain’t!”

[...] Orlando Ledbetter reports the much-anticipated trade of Atlanta cornerback Chris Houston to Detroit has finally happened. [...]

hawesg

March 8th, 2010
11:04 pm

Imagine if Petrino had picked Willis or Revis instead of Jafall Anderson. You can’t trade compensatory picks to move up in the draft, but if you have enough compensatory picks, you can trade some of your regular picks to move up, I suppose. This would have been a great year to have a second round pick….

josh cook

March 8th, 2010
11:06 pm

Sure injuries happen. Roster size is fine, dont want the season to be extended past 16 games as much as i love football. There has to be consequences for lack of training which causes most injuries in my opinion. Hard to pull a groin or hamstring if you have good flexibility.