Houston Texans v Detroit Lions
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A day after departing the Texans, Whitney Mercilus has already found a new home. The former All-Pro pass rusher is signing with the Packers, as reported by ESPN and NFL reporter Aaron Wilson. The 31-year-old linebacker drew interest from the Chiefs and Steelers after his release from Houston, per Wilson, but has since turned down more lucrative offers to join one of the NFC's top teams.

Mercilus, who was in his 10th season with the Texans, took his ouster in stride. Still owed guaranteed money from Houston, the former first-round pick was clear he preferred to join a contender after enduring the lows of a rebuilding club.

"As far as the direction I want to go, it's definitely being with a team that has a chance to make it to the playoffs and has a chance to make it to the Super Bowl," Mercilus said, per Wilson. "That's the direction I want to go, as I'm in the back half of my career, to get a chance to put a cherry on the top. Honestly, it's a blessing. I'm not sad. I've been blessed with the time to play 10 years in the NFL ... (The Texans) want to get younger, cheaper and who doesn't? The NFL is a business ... I was pretty prepared for this."

The Packers, meanwhile, could use his help. They lost star pass rusher Za'Darius Smith to back surgery after Week 1; the date of his return is still unclear. Then, on Sunday against the Bears, they saw fellow starter Preston Smith suffer an oblique injury.

Mercilus hasn't posted gaudy numbers off the edge for a while, logging double-digit sacks just once, in 2015. But he's already got three through six games in 2021, and he brings a wealth of experience to the Packers' defense, having started more than 100 games over the course of his career.