Baltimore Ravens Sign Edge Rusher, Justin Houston

The Baltimore Ravens signed defensive end Justin Houston on Saturday to a one-year deal with a base salary of $1.075 million along with a $1 million signing bonus. The deal also includes incentives related to sacks and Pro Bowl honors, according to Jeff Zrebiec.

Houston met with the Ravens in April but the two sides could not come to an agreement on a contract. Houston left Baltimore without a contract and other teams around the league reportedly offered Houston more money than the Ravens. But in the end Houston’s desire to win a championship led him back to the the Ravens.

The 32-year old Houston spent the last two seasons with the Indianapolis Colts after spending eights seasons with the Kansas City Chiefs who drafted him in 2011 out of the University of Georgia.

The four time Pro Bowler has 97.5 career sacks and was the NFL sack leader in 2014. Houston had 8 sacks for the Colts in 2020 while starting and playing in all 16 games. Houston has been a key contributor during his 10 year career having 10 or more sacks four times and his lowest sack total, 4, coming in 2016 after only playing in five games as the Chiefs eased him back after he tore his ACL at the end of the 2015 season.

The Ravens have struggled the last two seasons to get to the quarterback and after losing both Matthew Judon and Yannick Ngakoue to free agency. The Ravens had no one on the current roster with more than four sacks during the 2020 season.

The Ravens only kept six edge rushers last season and with seven now on the roster the competition for what may be that last spot as increased with Houston’s signing.

Houston looks to help the Ravens bring more pressure to opposing quarterbacks as he joins veterans Tyus Bowser, who signed a contract extension this offseason, and Pernell McPhee who signed a one-year deal to remain a Raven in March. As well third year defensive end Jaylon Ferguson, first round pick Odafe Oweh and fifth round pick Daelin Hayes.

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