Why Baltimore Ravens Could Sign Justin Houston 

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The Carolina Panthers released Justin Houston after a disastrous season for the team destined to finish with the first overall pick. Justin Houston has to clear waivers, but he has already said that he will only play for a contender this year. Houston has been on the IR with a hamstring injury, and it appears as though his motivation to return would be tied to the team that he gets added to. 

Could the Baltimore Ravens sign Justin Houston?

With that in mind, he will probably clear waivers. If he does, the Baltimore Ravens will be on the very short list of teams that will be acquiring him. 

First, they are a contender as they sit in first place in the AFC. They also know Justin Houston well, considering he has spent the last two seasons with Baltimore. Lastly, there is a need for him.

Yes, it is not a big role, but Justin Houston could be the Ravens' fourth edge rusher. The Ravens have Odafe Oweh, Kyle Van Noy, and Jadeveon Clowney, who play the majority of the snap in their edge rush group. However, their fourth rusher, Tavius Robinson, could be upgraded over. 

Robinson is a rookie who has had moments of improvement, but in the playoff stretch, it may be better to have the veteran rusher as the fourth guy. Since week nine, the Ravens have played Robinson just 12.6 snaps per game, but that would be a perfect role for someone like Houston, who is getting older and is coming off of an injury.

Still, Houston will be well reset, and it sounds like he could have been activated a week or two ago, but they were working out his release.

The one question would be that Tavius Robinson is a core special teams asset, and they would not be able to make him inactive, assuming the Ravens do not get Justin Houston to contribute on special teams. Still, the Ravens could keep him inactive and wait for an injury or a needed playoff scenario before they even bring him in. He could be a piece that is there, just in case. 

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A depth position would have to be spared on game day to keep the fifth roster spot. Still, you have to think that Houston would choose to come back to Baltimore if the Ravens show interest, and you would think the Ravens have at least some interest in the reunion.