The Green Bay Packers had to part ways with some very good players this offseason. All-Pro wide receiver Davante Adams was traded to the Las Vegas Raiders and pass-rushing extraordinaire Za’Darius Smith was released as a cap casualty.
Replacing players of that caliber is never an easy thing to do. The 2022 NFL Draft will present Green Bay with a chance to add some young, affordable players to fill the holes on the roster. But, as a team that is in win-now mode, they may be more comfortable filling those holes with some experienced veterans.
Luckily for them, there are a number of solid veterans available still in free agency. On the defensive side of the ball, one player that they could consider pursuing is Justin Houston. The 33-year old veteran has had a very good 11 season career and showed last season that he still has some pass-rushing juice left.
Green Bay’s depth on the EDGE took a hit this offseason. In addition to releasing Smith, Whitney Mercilus and Chauncey Rivers both remain free agents. With the ability to sell veterans on the chance to win, Houston is a prime target for Green Bay.
In 15 games with the Baltimore Ravens, Houston picked up 4.5 sacks, adding 17 quarterback hits and six tackles for loss, playing 61 percent of snaps. While not as explosive as he once was, he would make for a strong rotational piece behind Rashan Gary and Preston Smith.
Given their salary cap restraints, Houston makes sense from a monetary standpoint as well. The Packers should be able to land him on an affordable deal to fill a sizable hole on the depth chart.
Bringing Houston in on a one-year deal would ensure that the Packers are set at the position for the 2022 season. If they wanted to take a shot on a high-upside prospect late in the 2022 NFL Draft, Green Bay would be afforded the chance to have them come along slowly and develop their game by learning from one of the better pass rushers in the last decade.