Justin Houston Receiving ‘Significant’ Free Agent Interest: Sources

Ravens OLB Justin Houston

Getty Former Baltimore Ravens pass rusher Justin Houston (#50).

Veteran edge rusher Justin Houston remains a hot commodity as free agency enters its latest wave.

Multiple sources tell Heavy that Houston is garnering “significant interest,” from multiple teams, but that the 34-year-old is in no rush to make a decision, and is currently weighing his options.

In 2022, his second with the Baltimore Ravens, Houston produced 9.5 sacks with 39 total quarterback pressures, to go with his 21 total tackles and 1 forced fumble in 14 games.

Houston’s 2022 campaign underscores that he has plenty of quality football in front of him and the value he can provide to a competitive team. It is also fair to wonder if Houston will wait until the season gets underway, and sign with a Super Bowl contender, similar to Ndamukong Suh and Linval Joseph joining the Philadelphia Eagles‘ championship chase last season.

Justin Houston’s Best Fits in 2023

Several teams could benefit from signing a veteran pass-rusher who still remains productive, entering his 13th NFL season.

Houston, over the past three seasons, has combined for 22.0 sacks, after posting 11.0 during a stellar 2019 season, as a member of the Indianapolis Colts. Since being drafted by the Kansas City Chiefs in the third round in 2011, Houston has racked up 111.5 sacks with 404 solo tackles through the first 12 seasons of his NFL career.

Here’s a look at four potential best fits for Houston:

Buffalo Bills

The Bills haven’t shied away from adding veteran pass-rushers in the past, after signing Von Miller to a six-year contract worth $120 million that includes roughly $51.4 million guaranteed and could conceivably make a run at Houston.

Houston would serve as another fastball in Sean McDermott’s defense, bolstering a pass rush that produced only 40 sacks as a team. Buffalo must find a way through a quarterback gauntlet that includes Patrick Mahomes, Joe Burrow, Justin Herbert, Lamar Jackson, Aaron Rodgers, and Tua Tagovailoa if the Bills are ever going to reach a Super Bowl. Houston would certainly help.

New York Giants

If there’s anything that matters above all else in Giants defensive coordinator Don “Wink” Martindale’s system, it’s pressuring the quarterback. Likewise, there’s little Martindale enjoys more than blitzing.

Houston could be an ideal fit for the Giants’ scheme, after all, he did produce 4.5 sacks, while garnering a 77.5 pass-rush grade from Pro Football Focus, playing under Martindale in 2021.

Jacksonville Jaguars

After losing edge rusher Arden Key via free agency, following one of the more productive seasons of his career, the Jaguars have a pressing need at pass-rusher.

What the Jaguars also have, is plenty of cap space. Jacksonville is currently sitting on approximately $13.77 million in spending flexibility, and after making the AFC Divisional Playoffs last season, boast a young roster capable of taking the next step this season. Adding Houston to a pass-rush rotation that includes Travon Walker, Josh Allen, and Devin Lloyd, would produce a formidable group, in an AFC South that is ripe for the taking.

Chicago Bears

Bears general manager Ryan Poles entered the offseason with the most cap space in the NFL, and even after spending big at linebacker in the early days of free agency, still has $32.6 million in spending flexibility to continue rebuilding the Monsters of The Midway.

T.J. Edwards’ and Tremaine Edmunds’ arrivals significantly bolster Chicago’s talent in the front-seven, but Houston would give the Bears’ pass-rush real teeth.

Houston is a disruptive force, who finished last season 28th in the league in pass-rush win rate, and 20th in pressure rate, could arrive in the Windy City and immediately push for a starting role.

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