NFL veteran pass-rusher Justin Houston signed a one-year, $4million contract with the Baltimore Ravens. Houston has spent the past two seasons with the Indianapolis Colts after years with the Kansas City Chiefs.
Former All-Pro edge rusher Justin Houston reached agreement on a one-year deal worth up to $4 million with the Baltimore Ravens, per sources. Houston turned down significantly more money from other teams in order to pursue a championship with the Ravens, per source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 31, 2021
Justin Houston, Baltimore Ravens, Agree to Contract
2020 marked the second year of Justin Houston’s two-year deal he signed back in 2019 with the Colts. Houston took a bit of a step back in 2020, though still proved to be an excellent presence off the edge. He went onto post eight sacks and 12 quarterback hits on 25 pressures in his age 31 season. Houston also forced two safeties, had two fumble recoveries and 25 total tackles, providing a veteran presence to Indianapolis’ young defense.
Looking back on Justin Houston’s career, he has been one of the most effective pass rushers over the past decade. In ten years in the NFL, Houston has 97.5 sacks, 17 forced fumbles, and 148 total quarterback hits. His prime, 2012-2015, Houston posted 50.5 sacks in 54 games, earning four Pro Bowl nods and making one All-Pro team during his 2014 22.0 sack campaign. Houston then experienced a fall off after 2015, experiencing various injuries derailing his time on the field. He remained productive, except he only played 32 games from 2016-2018 before signing with the Colts. Houston never became the perennial Pro Bowl edge rusher he once flashed, though has remained one of the more consistent ones when on the field.
Taking a deeper look at his stats in 2020, it is clear Houston is entering the situational pass-rushing portion of his career. Despite playing a full season for a second-straight year, Houston played under 60% of snaps. Specifically, with the Colts and their 4-3 front, Houston has been taken out of coverage entirely. Per PFF, Houston earned the lowest grade of his career, at 62.9. Of course, it was only one year ago that he was the eighth highest-graded edge rusher. Nevertheless, at this point in Houston’s career, he is a very effective, veteran situational pass rusher. Not the every-down edge setter he once was.
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