With the news breaking that the Kansas City Chiefs will be dropping outside linebacker, Justin Houston, the Arizona Cardinals immediately come to mind as a fit for the talented pass-rusher who tallied 78.5 sacks during his time in Kansas City.
In the wild NFC West, getting to the quarterback is not viewed as a luxury, rather, it’s a priority, as the Cardinals will have to go against the likes of Russell Wilson, Jared Goff, and Jimmy Garrappollo a combined six times a year for the foreseeable future.
While Houston is on the wrong side of 30, he does offer whomever he plays for surreal talents as an edge rusher and setter.
However, he is being released for a reason. He has been dealt with a slew of injuries over his eight-year career. Since his record-breaking 22 sack season in 2014, he has missed a total of 20 games. In 2019, he did not play in four, yet still had a solid nine-sack season.
Houston’s market could be fairly substantial, due to the premium of his position. But, if the Cardinals are interested, he would be a perfect fit in the Cardinals 3-4, a scheme that he’s played for most of his career. Theoretically, he could be a tertiary and third-down pass rusher alongside Nick Bosa, or as a featured option. It just depends on how his market settles.
Again, Houston may have a large market looking to add his services. If the Arizona Cardinals do intend to sign Houston, it should be looked at as part of the bigger picture. Which would be either trading down from number one overall to get a massive haul with whoever is desperate for either Nick Bosa/Kyler Murray, or selecting Quinnen Williams to supplement a veteran pass rush consisting of Houston and Jones.
Ultimately, the likelihood of adding Houston to the Cardinals is slim, as they do have the ability to add a generational rookie pass-rusher in Nick Bosa. But, if they decide to go another way in he draft, having an experienced pass rush of Chandler Jones and Justin Houston would ascend the Cardinals defense to the next level.
Either way, it should be an interesting free agency to watch for Cardinals fans everywhere.