The Baltimore Ravens brought back Justin Houston to their pass rush, signing the veteran edge rusher to a one-year contract Thursday, the team announced. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Baltimore placed a rare unrestricted free agent tender on Houston in May, ahead of the deadline where free agents who sign with a new team no longer count toward the NFL's compensatory pick formula. Since the Ravens placed the tender on Houston, he would've counted toward the compensatory pick formula if he were to sign with another team before July 22 -- or the start of their team's training camp. Houston's one-year tender was worth $2.3 million, or 110% of his 2021 salary.
Houston finished with 4.5 sacks in 15 games, his lowest in a season when he played 10 or more games in his career. He finished with 39 pressures and 17 quarterback hits with 25 hurries. Houston has 102 sacks in his 11-year career, including four double-digit sack seasons and four Pro Bowl appearances. He also led the NFL with 22 sacks with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2014, tied with Jared Allen and Mark Gastineau for third-most in a season in NFL history (since sacks became an official stat in 1982).
Houston will compete with Odafe Oweh and Calais Campbell for playing time in the Ravens' pass-rush rotation. David Ojabo, the team's second-round pick, is expected to play at some point in 2022 after rupturing his Achilles in March -- so having Houston back is critical for Baltimore's defense.