Justin Houston could be the perfect veteran acquisition for the Baltimore Ravens to add more help to their average-at-best pass rush for 2021.
According to Jonas Shaffer, per Jason La Canfora on 105.7 The Fan, Houston is set to visit the Ravens next Tuesday. Now, this doesn’t guarantee anything. Though, if the Ravens like what they see it is likely they will do everything in their power to bring Houston to Baltimore.
Houston has been in the league for 10 seasons. During that time, he has made four Pro Bowls and recorded 97.5 sacks, including 22 sacks in 2014. Yes, he is not the same player he once was, but in the last three seasons, he has recorded 28 sacks. In 2020, he had eight sacks, which is one short of the nine total sacks that Matt Judon and Yannick Ngakoue had between them for the Ravens last season. Regardless of his age, this could be seen as an upgrade over both of them, especially if you go by the numbers.
On top of the eight sacks he had last season, Houston also recorded 12 quarterback hits, two fumble recoveries, one forced fumble, and two safeties. Of course, signing Houston doesn’t change the fact that the Ravens will address the position in the draft. But signing Houston after signing Sammy Watkins and Kevin Zeitler would give them the ability to focus more on drafting the best player available as they like to do.
Justin Houston would bring another veteran voice to the Ravens’ locker room. And he could only boost the Ravens’ chances of winning their third Super Bowl next season. However, the Ravens do love their compensatory picks. Therefore, we shall see if Eric DeCosta is willing to make a signing that could potentially affect the compensatory pick formula.
If the Ravens sign Houston before the draft, they risk losing one of their two projected fourth-round picks they will receive for losing Judon and Ngakoue. So, this may be a signing that has to wait until after the 2021 NFL Draft. If they sign him after the draft, they don’t affect the compensatory pick formula. But there is no way of knowing if he will still be available then.
I personally believe that signing Houston now is worth the risk of losing a fourth-round pick. It would give the Ravens a proven pass-rusher on defense and a veteran leader, while also giving them more freedom in the draft.
We shall see, but I think Houston is a perfect fit for the Ravens’ defense and what they still need this offseason.