There has been some speculation if the Colts would sign the former Chief, and they now have officially given him a two year deal.
The Colts got their pass rusher. Linebacker Justin Houston has agreed to a two-year deal worth $24 million with the team. Houston got released from the Chiefs after opting to keep Dee Ford instead. Now the Colts have the pass rusher they desperately need.
Houston is a bona fide pass rusher in this league. In 2014, he led the league with an insane 22 sacks. He was only .5 sacks off of Michael Strahan‘s single season record. He has cooled off since then, but still recorded 9 sacks last year in Kansas City.
This is the most money the Colts have spent on a free agent so far. Houston is getting $12 million per year. He is also going to be 30 next season. Chris Ballard typically doesn’t give that kind of money to someone in their thirties, no matter what position they play.
But this is money well spent. Houston is a big play waiting to happen on the edge. He forced five fumbles in addition to the 9 sacks that he had. Having someone who can instill fear in quarterbacks on third downs is a necessity in a pass happy NFL.
Ballard’s connection to Kansas City is no doubt what led to this deal. Ballard was there from 2013-2016, which was four years of Houston’s career in KC. Clearly Ballard is comfortable with what Houston can do rushing the passer, and the Colts don’t have a pass rushing linebacker.
This changes things for the Colts in a big way. Their single biggest need was a pass rusher, and they got perhaps the best one left on the market. It also indicates that the Colts will be blitzing more often this season, especially from the outside linebacker position.
This move also changes what Indy will do in the draft. There’s a good chance they use their first round pick on a wide receiver now instead of a pass rusher. Or they could double down and grab a pass rushing defensive end. Either way, this is an excellent move for the Colts.