Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox has identified the move each NFL franchise should make ahead of the 2021 season.
As for the Pittsburgh Steelers, Knox believes they should add veteran pass rusher Justin Houston to bolster their defensive front.
“While Houston is 32 years old, he’s the best pass-rusher still available,” Knox writes. “He had eight sacks and 25 quarterback pressures last season despite playing only 59 percent of the defensive snaps for the Colts. He would be a fantastic short-term option for a team with championship aspirations.”
According to Spotrac, Pittsburgh has about $7.9 million in salary cap space, which should be plenty of cash to woo Houston into signing. They can also pitch him the idea of pursuing a Super Bowl.
While Knox thinks the Steelers are in need of a complementary pass rusher alongside T.J. Watt, all signs point to the team sticking with second-year Alex Highsmith as the starter. They also selected former Miami edge rusher Quincy Roche in the sixth round of the 2021 NFL Draft.
Still, adding a veteran for strictly pass rush situations is not a far fetched or ill-advised idea. Not only does Houston appear to have plenty left in the tank, but he could be another positive influence on Highsmith as he continues to develop.
Originally a third round selection of Kansas City in 2011, Houston played the first eight seasons of his career with the Chiefs. He was selected to four Pro Bowls and earned a First-Team All-Pro nod in 2014 after posting a league-leading 22 sacks.
Houston has remained productive since moving on to Indianapolis in 2019. He has recorded 19 sacks and 21 tackles-for-loss over the last two seasons combined.