Colts Sign Justin Houston

The Colts have reached agreement on a deal with former Chiefs linebacker Justin Houston, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter). It’s a two-year, $24MM deal, Schefter adds (Twitter link). 

The deal includes $18.5MM in total guarantees, according to Stephen Holder of the Indy Star (on Twitter). That’s a larger-than-expected guarantee for Houston, who did not have a ton of suitors following his release from Kansas City.

The Chiefs tried to trade Houston this offseason, but no club was willing to take on his $15.25MM base salary. On March 10, they released him outright. By cutting Houston, the Chiefs saved $14MM in cap space while absorbing $7.1MM in dead money.

Houston led the NFL with 22 sacks in 2014, but his free agent market has been eerily quiet over the last couple of weeks. Now, he’ll join the Colts as he enters his age-30 campaign.

The Colts recently explored a trade for Dee Ford, Schefter notes (on Twitter), but they ultimately held on to their draft picks and landed his former Chiefs teammate.

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 his presence should go a long way towards bolstering the Colts’ lackluster pass rush. And, while a 4-3 scheme might not be a perfect fit for Houston, he can still be a disruptor in Matt Eberflus‘ system.

The addition of Houston may also alter the Colts’ draft plans. The Colts may still look for a young edge rusher in April, but having Houston on the roster may allow them to stand pat at No. 26 rather than trading up for an upper-echelon prospect.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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14 comments on “Colts Sign Justin Houston

    • JT19

      Maybe just by a million or two depending on how much money, but the Colts have plenty of money to work with and you can never have enough pass rushers. Houston had 9 sacks in 12 games last year so its not like he experienced a severe dropoff in production. He’s just not an elite edge rusher anymore and this salary is basically in line with other very good edge rushers.

  1. hopper15

    He’s a much better fit in a 3-4 but you can never have enough pass rushers.

  2. nentwigs

    In a somewhat related move; it is rumored that Kansas City is about to sign Justin Texas
    Also Houston has interest in Colt Chief

    • dynamite drop in monty

      He was killed in the ring in Houston. By Tex Colorado. You know, the Arizona Assassin.

  3. Yep it is

    Loved Justin Houston but he looked very old at times last year and $24mil is a lot for and aging player who hasn’t played regularly in 4 years.

    • jehendri

      Colts have cash to burn. Only 2 years. That money will be freed up when they need to start resigning their own. Excellent signing for a vet pass rusher. Great for the youngsters.

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