Despite being without a team at the start of training camp, Justin Houston is not considering retirement. The veteran edge rusher has received multiple offers this offseason, according to ESPN.com’s Jeremy Fowler (on Twitter).
Houston has been most closely connected to the Colts this offseason, but he also spoke with the Steelers. Pittsburgh, however, moved in a different direction by signing fellow 32-year-old edge defender Melvin Ingram earlier this month.
Given Houston’s track record and newfound ability to stay healthy, he should still have a market. The former Kansas City and Indianapolis sack artist, who has a 22-sack season on his resume (back in 2014), may also be waiting for a potential training camp/preseason injury to change the marketplace. Interestingly, the Chiefs may soon be in need on the edge — given Frank Clark‘s murky status — but this regime released Houston to free up a slot for Clark two years ago.
The 10-year veteran totaled 19 sacks in two Colts seasons, playing out a two-year, $23MM deal. His history with knee trouble notwithstanding, Houston did not miss a game as a Colt. Indy used its top two draft choices on edge players — Kwity Paye and Dayo Odeyingbo — and has former second-round picks Kemoko Turay, Tyquan Lewis and Ben Banogu on its roster. Houston, however, offers more certainty than that group as a pass rusher.
There are a few remaining veteran D-ends/outside linebackers available in free agency. While Houston profiles as the top target left, Olivier Vernon and Everson Griffen also remain unattached in the first week of camp.
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