Lamarr Houston

Vikings Work Out Houston, Ayers

With Everson Griffen out indefinitely, the Vikings are looking into help along the edge. On Monday, the team auditioned Lamarr Houston and Robert Ayers, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL.com (on Twitter).

Houston, 31, is looking to catch on with his fourth NFL team. He split last season between the Bears and Texans, compiling 17 tackles, five sacks, and one forced fumble in 10 games (one start). While the veteran has clearly lost a step, he could still provide the Vikings with some leadership and depth.

Ayers is known for his run-stopping ability at defensive end, but it’s not clear whether he’s healthy at the moment. After starting 20 games for the Bucs over the 2016 and ’17 seasons, he was released this offseason. The Lions picked him up in August, but wound up releasing him the next day.

The Vikings have dropped their last two games and have not won since the season opener against the 49ers. Things won’t get any easier this weekend when they take on the Eagles in Philadelphia, so they may want to pick up some reinforcements where they can.

Seahawks Work Out Three Defenders

Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie isn’t the only defender the Seahawks will be hosting for a workout. NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport reports (via Twitter) that the organization will also be auditioning linebacker Lamarr Houston and defensive end Damontre Moore. Meanwhile, ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweets that the Seahawks will also work out linebacker Erik Walden.

Houston, 31, will be looking to catch on with his fourth NFL team. He split last season between the Bears and Texans, compiling 17 tackles, five sacks, and one forced fumble in 10 games (one start). While the veteran has clearly lost a step, he could still provide the Seahawks with some leadership and depth. The former second-rounder previously met with the Jets and Raiders.

Walden has managed to put together 10-year NFL career despite being selected in the sixth round of the 2008 draft. After serving as a starter with the Colts for four seasons (including a 2016 campaign where he compiled 11 sacks), the 32-year-old spent last season as a backup with the Titans. He finished the year with 36 tackles and four sacks in 16 games (two starts).

If Houston or Walden catch on with Seattle, they’d presumably compete with Shaquem Griffin, D.J. Alexander, and Jake Martin for backup outside linebacker reps.

Moore, 25, has bounced around the NFL since breaking out with the Giants in 2014. After serving a two-game suspension, Moore played in three games for the Cowboys last season, compiling five tackles. His last notable contribution came in 2015 with New York, when he finished with 23 tackles, three sacks, and one forced fumble. Moore would compete with Rasheem GreenMarcus Smith, Branden Jackson, and Quinton Jefferson for backup snaps at defensive end.

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Jets Work Out Lamarr Houston

The Jets are exploring options in the front seven. Gang Green will work out edge rusher Lamarr Houston and defensive tackle Chris Jones, according to NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero. Former Rams defensive lineman Tyrunn Walker and former Browns defensive lineman Lavar Edwards will also be a part of the workout, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). Colleague Mike Garafolo (on Twitter) adds that the Jets brought in former Chiefs defensive tackle Jaye Howard for a visit recently. 

The Jets have already added a number of new linebackers this offseason, including ILBs Avery Williamson, Kevin Minter, and Micah Awe and outside linebackers Kevin Pierre-Louis, Brandon Copeland, and Neville Hewitt. However, they have done little to bolster the defensive line behind projected starters Leonard Williams, Steve McLendon, and Mike Pennel.

After sacrificing two second round picks in this year’s draft (plus a second rounder in next year’s draft) to move up from No. 6 to No. 3 overall, the Jets may want to fill out the D-Line depth chart through veterans in order to focus on other needs this weekend. The Jets still have six picks in the draft, but their second choice won’t come until No. 72 overall.

Houston, 31 in June, recently auditioned for the Raiders but left Oakland without signing a deal. Howard, 29, put himself on the map with 5.5 sacks for the Chiefs in 2015 but was slowed by a hip injury in 2016 and did not play last season.

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Raiders Work Out Lamarr Houston

The Raiders are hosting veteran pass-rusher Lamarr Houston for a workout today, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. If Houston signs with the Raiders, it’ll mark a homecoming for Oakland’s former 2010 second-round pick. 

Houston played the best football of his career when he was with the Raiders for his first four NFL seasons. After signing a five-year, $35MM contract with the Bears, he was unable to keep the momentum going thanks to injuries. In his first three campaigns with Chicago, Houston appeared in just 26 of a possible 48 games and made only ten starts.

The Bears cut Houston before the start of the 2017 season, eventually leading him to the injury-marred Texans’ front seven. When Houston was cut by Houston, the Bears brought him back in for the final stretch of the season. In five games with Chicago, he managed four sacks, including two sacks against the Lions on Dec. 16.

There’s reason to believe that Houston can be a solid contributor once again, though perhaps only as a situational pass rusher on limited snaps. If Jon Gruden likes what he sees, it probably won’t cost much for the Raiders to sign him on a one-year deal.

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Bears Claim LB Lamarr Houston

The Bears have claimed linebacker Lamarr Houston, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (on Twitter). The Texans released the veteran on Tuesday, exposing him to post-trading deadline waivers. Lamarr Houston (vertical)

Houston spent the 2014-2016 seasons in Chicago. The results were mixed, primarily due to his health. Houston, 30, didn’t live up to his five-year, $35MM free agent deal signed in 2014. In three seasons with the Bears, Houston has appeared in just 26 of a possible 48 games and made only ten starts. The Bears opted to release Houston just prior to Week 1 of this season.

The potential remains for Houston to be an effective edge rusher, although perhaps not as a starter like when he was with the Raiders. After two ACL tears and multiple other knee injuries, he could best serve the Bears as a reserve. Currently, the Bears are starting Mitch Unrein and Akiem Hicks at defensive end with Pernell McPhee and Sam Acho as the starting outside linebackers. Houston figures to get reps at OLB, particularly wtih Leonard Floyd and Willie Young on IR.

In five games with the Texans, Houston recorded seven total tackles, one forced fumble (recovered for a touchdown), and one sack.

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Texans Cut LB Lamarr Houston

Lamarr Houston‘s time in Houston has come to an end. The linebacker has been waived, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). The release isn’t necessarily a reflection on his performance – Rapoport hears the Texans are shifting focus to younger players. Lamarr Houston (vertical)

Houston joined the Texans on a one-year deal in October. At the time, the Texans were still in the mix for the AFC South crown. Today, they’re 4-7 with no real chance at reaching the playoffs. By cutting Houston, the Texans will get a chance to evaluate edge rushers who could be a part of the solution in 2018. Meanwhile, Houston may get a chance to hook on with a contending club.

Although Houston is a vested veteran, he’ll be subject to waivers since we are beyond the trading deadline. If no one claims Houston within a 24 hour period, he’ll be free to sign with any team of his choosing.

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Texans To Sign DE/LB Lamarr Houston

The Texans didn’t stop after reaching an agreement with free agent defensive lineman Kendall Langford earlier tonight — they’re also planning to sign linebacker/defensive end Lamarr Houston, tweets Mark Berman of FOX 26.Lamarr Houston (Vertical)

Although the Texans lost two of their best defenders — J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus — to season-ending injuries on Sunday night, they’re still firmly in the AFC South race. They sit alongside the Colts and Titans at 2-3, and all those clubs are one game behind the division-leading Jaguars. With one fell swoop, the Texans have now added two veteran defensive players who between them offer 225 games of NFL experience.

Houston, 30, was never able to stay fully healthy after inking a five-year, $35MM contract with Chicago prior to the 2014 campaign. In three seasons with the Bears, the 30-year-old Houston appeared in just 26 of a possible 48 games and made only 10 starts. He managed nine total sacks in Chicago, but eight of those came in 2015, his only healthy year with the Bears.

Houston, who was in town today to work out for the Texans, has been busy since being released by Chicago last month. In addition to the Texans, he’d met with or auditioned for the Patriots, Saints, and Buccaneers.

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Texans To Work Out DE/LB Lamarr Houston

The Texans will audition defensive end/linebacker Lamarr Houston on Tuesday, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link).Lamarr Houston (vertical)

The Buccaneers reportedly worked out Houston today, but the Texans have a far greater need along their front seven. Both J.J. Watt and Whitney Mercilus suffered season-ending injuries on Sunday, leaving the club without two of their top three pass rushers. While incumbent options such as Brennan Scarlett could see increased snaps, Houston would give the Texans another jolt in Mike Vrabel’s 3-4 scheme.

Houston, 30, was never able to stay fully healthy after inking a five-year, $35MM contract with Chicago prior to the 2014 campaign. In three seasons with the Bears, the 30-year-old Houston appeared in just 26 of a possible 48 games and made only 10 starts. He managed nine total sacks in Chicago, but eight of those came in 2015, his only healthy year with the Bears.

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Buccaneers Working Out DL Lamarr Houston

The Buccaneers are working out free agent defensive end Lamarr Houston, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). Tampa Bay has also added two kickers to its audition list in the forms of Patrick Murray and Marshall Koehn, reports Greg Auman of the Tampa Bay Times.Lamarr Houston (Vertical)

Houston, 30, was never able to stay fully healthy after inking a five-year, $35MM contract with Chicago prior to the 2014 campaign. In three seasons with the Bears, the 30-year-old Houston appeared in just 26 of a possible 48 games and made only 10 starts. He managed nine total sacks in Chicago, but eight of those came in 2015, his only healthy year with the Bears.

Chicago placed Houston on injured reserve (and subsequently released him) earlier this year, but the veteran pass rusher reportedly doesn’t have any structural knee dame. The Buccaneers likely want to confirm that, and see if the seven-year pro could help improve a defensive line which will be without reserve Ryan Russell for the next several weeks. Since parting ways with the Bears, Houston has worked out for the Saints and Patriots.

Murray and Koehn, meanwhile, will join a tryout group of kickers that also includes Mike Nugent, Josh Lambo, and Andrew Franks (Cairo Santos will also be in town for a physical). Incumbent Nick Folk missed three field goals last Thursday night, and has failed to convert five total attempts on the season.

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Pats Work Out Lamarr Houston, Philly Brown

Lamarr Houston (vertical)

Outside linebacker Lamarr Houston was among those to work out for the Patriots on Friday, Field Yates of ESPN reports (on Twitter). The team also auditioned a pair of wide receivers – Philly Brown and Tavarres King – as well as defensive tackle Stefan Charles, Mike Reiss of ESPN.com tweets.

New England joins New Orleans as the second team Houston has tried out for since the Bears released him from injured reserve Sept. 6. Knee injuries, including two ACL tears, slowed Houston in recent seasons and led to his release from Chicago, which signed the ex-Raider to a five-year, $35MM contract prior to the 2014 campaign. Houston appeared in just two games last season, though he’s only two years removed from an eight-sack showing.

If Houston signs with the Patriots and returns to something resembling his past form, the 30-year-old could provide a boost to a Patriots defense in need of help. The reigning Super Bowl champions’ stop unit ranks last in DVOA through two weeks and has only totaled four sacks.

On the other side of the ball, the Pats haven’t been the picture of health this year at wideout, which could explain their interest in Brown. The 25-year-old has been available since the Bills waived him Sept. 3, and he has worked out with the Jets, Saints and Pats since then. Brown spent the first three years of his career in Carolina, where he hauled in 79 catches, 1,019 yards and seven touchdowns across 43 games (22 starts).

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