Justin Houston has found himself a new NFL home. As free agency rolled along -- past OTAs and minicamp and into training camps firing up around the league -- Houston remained unsigned as he waited for the right situation and offer to come along. He found both with the Baltimore Ravens, reportedly agreeing to join the team on a one-year deal worth up to $4 million, per Adam Schefter of ESPN. And it appears it was more about the situation than the offer itself, with Houston reportedly turning down significantly more money from other teams to play in Baltimore.
Houston wants a chance to contend for a championship in 2021, and he believes the Ravens give him the best chance to do so. He visited the club in May but left without signing a deal. Two months later, he's readying to suit up for John Harbaugh.
The addition works well for the Ravens' odds of success in 2021. A team that was listed as having a 50.2 percent chance of winning the AFC North and an 81.3 percent chance of making the playoffs -- per CBS Sports stats analyst Stephen Oh -- now sees their chances of winning the division buoy to 65.3 percent and their playoff odds move north to 83.2 percent. Their chances of winning the Super Bowl also jumped 1.5 points -- from 9.1 to 10.6 percent.
In other words, yes, it's a good signing.
A former third-round pick of the Kansas City Chiefs in 2011 -- a team many believed had a shot at reuniting with him 10 years later -- Houston became a premier pass rusher in the league en route to landing four Pro Bowl nods and a First-Team All-Pro honor before joining the Indianapolis Colts in 2019. The former NFL sacks leader (2014) spent two seasons with the Colts before entering free agency this offseason and ultimately choosing the third team of his impressive pro career.
The 32-year-old has 97.5 sacks, 17 forced fumbles and 15 fumble recoveries on his resume, and hasn't had any availability issues, either. He played and started in all 32 games for the Colts in his two-year stay, and racked up 19 sacks in the process. There's still plenty of tread left on his tires, and now the Ravens will benefit from whatever he does next -- filling a void created by the departure of Matthew Judon and Yannick Ngakoue in free agency.
Houston will likely contribute immediately, and in a major way.