Justin Houston Jersey

Justin Houston was once one of the most feared pass rushers in the NFL. But Houston’s production no longer matched the $15.25 million price tag the Kansas City Chiefs were set to owe him in 2019. And when the dollars don’t match, it often means a player restructures his contract or he gets traded or released. For Houston, it was the latter.

Houston is still a productive player, tallying 9.0 sacks in his 12 starts in the 2018 season. As he can surely help lots of teams, here are three that should consider signing the four-time Pro Bowler now that he’s a free agent.

New England struggled when it came to rushing the passer during the 2018 regular season, but the pass rush really came on in the postseason. Unfortunately, New England’s best defensive lineman, Trey Flowers, might walk in free agency. Signing a veteran sack artist like Houston is a vintage Bill Belichick move, as the aging linebacker is a low-risk, high-upside player at this point in his career.

The Seattle Seahawks are a league average team when it comes to getting to the quarterback, tallying just 42.0 sacks last season. Signing Houston would help give this team a boost on the edge without investing too much money. The Seahawks need to get after the quarterback, as they’ll face dynamic passers like Jimmy Garoppolo and Jared Goff in a quarter of their games next season.

The Indianapolis Colts are quietly putting together one of the best young rosters in the NFL, but their defense still needs some work. Indianapolis could use a pass rusher, and signing Houston could help take this team to the next level when it comes to competing for a Super Bowl. Houston would fit in well as a rotational player, a la former Colt and future Hall of Famer Dwight Freeney, and could really help take some pressure off Darius Leonard, who tallied 111 tackles and seven sacks last season.

Max Staley is not a FanDuel employee. In addition to providing DFS gameplay advice, Max Staley also participates in DFS contests on FanDuel using his personal account, username mstaley1212. While the strategies and player selections recommended in his articles are his personal views, he may deploy different strategies and player selections when entering contests with his personal account. The views expressed in their articles are the author’s alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of FanDuel.

Coming off of ACL surgery in February, defensive end Justin Houston’s 2016 status is now in doubt, and his absence would severely impair the Kansas City Chiefs’ title hopes.

Which Kansas City lineman would have to step up in Houston’s place? Could the Chiefs replace Houston through free agency or the NFL draft? Are the Chiefs a playoff team without their star pass-rusher?

Watch Stephen Nelson and Bleacher Report NFL Analyst Chris Simms discuss Houston in the video above.

INDIANAPOLIS — The Colts dabbled, waited, watched as the initial wave of free agency rose to a crescendo of ballooning contracts and then crashed, most of the big fish already plucked from the water.

But a massive catch was still in the water, there for the taking a week after the opening of free agency, and Chris Ballard finally saw the right opportunity to make the splash everybody’s been expecting.

Indianapolis has signed Kansas City Chiefs pass rusher Justin Houston to a two-year, $24 million contract, multiple sources told IndyStar, a win-win deal that lands the Colts arguably the best available player at their position of greatest need.

Houston, 30, is a bona fide edge rusher who has racked up 78.5 sacks in eight seasons but was released by the Kansas City Chiefs for salary-cap reasons.

A four-time Pro Bowler who led the NFL with 22 sacks in 2014, Houston has battled injuries in the four years since then, but he’s as productive as he’s ever been when he’s on the field. Over the past four seasons, Houston has 30 sacks in 43 games, including 18.5 over the past two years.

And he plays a position that Ballard has ticketed all season as a must. Always a 3-4 outside linebacker in Kansas City, Houston will play defensive end for the Colts, a transition that should be fairly easy given that the Chiefs often rushed out of a four-man front in nickel situations.

A four-time Pro Bowler who led the NFL with 22 sacks in 2014, Houston has battled injuries in the four years since then, but he’s as productive as he’s ever been when he’s on the field. Over the past four seasons, Houston has 30 sacks in 43 games, including 18.5 over the past two years.

“I have plenty left in the tank,” Houston said. “I think some people don’t believe that.”

Ballard was in the Kansas City front office prior to taking over in Indianapolis and that connection contributed to Houston landing with the Colts.

“Just knowing he was somebody I could trust,” Houston said. “I got an honest answer (from him).”

And he plays a position that Ballard has ticketed all season as a must. Always a 3-4 outside linebacker in Kansas City, Houston will play defensive end for the Colts, a transition that should be fairly easy given that the Chiefs often rushed out of a four-man front in nickel situations. Houston said he had not concerns about switching schemes.

INDIANAPOLIS (KCTV) – The Kansas City Chiefs made headlines with their play on the field this season, but it is the team’s off-the-field moves that has people talking at the NFL combine.

Multiple reports out of Indianapolis say that Chiefs officials have been meeting with teams to discuss possible trades involving linebacker Justin Houston.

Jason La Canfora with CBS Sports first reported the developments, followed by the NFL Network’s Ian Rapport, who said teams had been calling with “real interest” for the pass-rusher.

An eight-year veteran of the NFL, Houston racked up 28 tackles and 9 sacks in the 2018 season for Kansas City. He has been named to the Pro Bowl four times and led the league in sacks in 2014 with 22, just half a sack from the league record.

Head coach Andy Reid did not mention any developments with Houston when he spoke with KCTV5 Wednesday at the NFL Combine.
General manager Brett Veatch is also in Indianapolis, and KCTV5 will be asking him about Houston’s future with the Chiefs Thursday.

The Chiefs have released edge-rusher Justin Houston, the club announced Sunday. Chiefs owner Clark Hunt said in a statement:

Kansas City had been attempting to trade Houston, but no club was willing to take on his $15.25M base salary. By cutting Houston, the Chiefs will retain $7.1M in dead money but will also create $14M in cap space. That latter figure is critical for Kansas City, as the team had less than $10M in cap space before moving from Houston.

In addition to trying to move Houston, the Chiefs are also rumored to have put fellow pass-rusher Dee Ford on the trade block. Ford was designated as Kansas City’s franchise player and will earn north of $17M in 2019, and the Chiefs are reportedly searching for a second-round pick in exchange. However, it’s possible Kansas City will be more amenable to retaining Ford now that Houston is out of the picture.

Houston led the NFL with 22 sacks in 2015, but injuries have since taken a toll on his availability. Now entering his age-30 campaign, Houston can still be an effective player, as evidenced by his 18.5 sacks over the past two seasons. Pro Football Focus graded him as the NFL’s 14th-best edge defender last year, and he should have a solid market given that most of this offseason’s best pass-rushers were taken off the market via the franchise tag.

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