The Baltimore Ravens have agreed to one-year deal with free agent pass rusher Justin Houston as first reported by Adam Schefter of ESPN. The deal is worth up to $4 million as Houston wants to pursue a Super Bowl with the Ravens, reportedly turning down significantly money elsewhere to do it.
The 32-year old pass rusher played the last two seasons with the Indianapolis Colts recording 19 sacks.
In free agency, the Ravens saw both of their starting edge rushers sign with other teams. Matthew Judon signed a lucrative deal with the New England Patriots worth as much as $56 million over four years while Yannick Ngakoue agreed to a two-year, $26 million deal with the Las Vegas Raiders.
Houston helps fill a significant void as the Ravens otherwise went with a combination of in-house promotions and the NFL Draft. The Ravens retained Tyus Bowser, Pernell McPhee and still have Jaylon Ferguson while selecting Adofe Oweh in the first round in the 2021 NFL Draft.
Houston might be older, but he's still able to contribute and produce. Even if he was to do nothing but play in nickel situations along players like Calais Campbell and pass rush options like Bowser and Oweh, it could make a significant improvement for the Ravens.
The Ravens are a team that excels on the back end, having one of the best sets of corners in the NFL, a great secondary overall. It allows defensive coordinator Wink Martindale to blitz a significant amount of the time to create pressure. It's unlikely the Ravens will blitz any less than in the past, but Houston should help them get home more of the time.