The Colts have been mostly quiet since free agency opened earlier this month. They re-signed WR T.Y. Hilton after a last-minute push convinced him to stay in Indy rather than sign with the Ravens, and they brought back CB Xavier Rhodes and RB Marlon Mack. According to Stephen Holder of The Athletic, the team also remains in contact with Justin Houston.
Houston, 32, has been productive for the Colts since they signed him to a two-year, $24MM deal in 2019. He started all 32 regular season games over the 2019-20 campaigns, recording 69 tackles and 19 sacks. Pro Football Focus wasn’t especially high on his work last season, ranking him as the 65th-best edge defender in the league out of 109 qualifiers, with middling grades in both run defense and pass rush.
Still, the 9.5-sack average he has put up over the past two seasons would be difficult to replace, especially at this stage of the offseason. That is especially true since there are no truly elite pass rushing prospects in this year’s draft, and even if there were, it’s hard to imagine such a player falling to the Colts’ No. 21 overall pick. Holder says the club is in talks with several other veteran edge players in addition to Houston, and a free agent signing before the draft remains a possibility. Jadeveon Clowney and Everson Griffen are two speculative fits.
There have been no concrete reports of interest in Houston since the offseason began. Back in February, we heard that the Colts would allow the market to dictate whether or not they brought Houston back for a third season, and as of right now, it appears that the market has not been kind to Houston. Perhaps that will result in a team-friendly reunion.
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