3. Justin Houston, OLB, Ravens
The Ravens went into the offseason looking to bolster their pass rush, and they believed they had done that with former Raven Za’Darius Smith. Unfortunately, that never came to be.
The Smith deal fell through and, through the first week of free agency, the Ravens haven’t been able to add a new pass rusher. Their options are dwindling too.
There aren’t a ton of great options to address edge rusher on the open market, although one notable name is Justin Houston who remains a free agent.
Houston was signed by the Ravens last summer as a last-minute addition to their outside linebacker corps. The four-time Pro Bowler went on to start 15 games serving a valuable role on defense.
Houston didn’t put up flashy numbers as he finished with just 4.5 sacks and 17 QB hits. He had a good year, but his value extended beyond the stat sheet.
The 33-year-old was a stout run defender who did an excellent job of setting the edge. His presence allowed young players such as Odafe Oweh and Patrick Queen to take on less responsibility.
Of the remaining veteran options on the market, Houston is one of the more appealing targets. He wouldn’t exactly be an upgrade, but after missing out on Smith, the Ravens might not have much of a choice.
Don’t be surprised if Justin Houston returns to Baltimore in 2022.