Justin Houston thinks returning to the Ravens next season sounds like a good idea.
The veteran outside linebacker, who led Baltimore in sacks with 9.5, said he is leaning toward playing another season and would like to re-sign with the Ravens. Scheduled to become a free agent this offseason, Houston will turn 34 on Jan. 21, and is coming off his most productive season since he had 11 sacks with the Colts in 2019.
With 111.5 career sacks, Houston feels there's more left in the tank. Houston had one of the Ravens' four sacks during Sunday night's playoff loss to the Bengals.
"The way I feel right now – I'll be back," Houston said. "We'll see if the chips work out, and I'll be here. That's out of my control. We'll see what they do. I'd like to be back here."
Houston was the AFC Defensive Player of the Week after getting 2.5 sacks and an interception against the Saints in Week 9, and he continued to be a mentor for younger pass rushers like Odafe Oweh, Tyus Bowser and David Ojabo. Houston reported to training camp in excellent shape and used that as a springboard for his year. He plans on taking the same approach this offseason.
"I'll take a couple of weeks off just to let my body rest," Houston said. "I'll just pray and talk to God and let him guide me through the offseason, and then I'll get back to work. I don't take too much time off, because it's hard to get it started once you cut it off, so I try not to even let it cut off, I let it keep running. I'm going to work out still, and let's see what happens."
Houston is chasing an elusive Super Bowl ring, which is another reason he wants to return. He believes the Ravens will have enough talent next year to get back into the playoffs, and he wants to be part of another chase for a championship.
"This is not my first rodeo. I've been in this situation more than I would like," Houston said. "So, you grow from it. Even though it's tough right now, you can't let it keep you down. You have to use this as motivation to keep going, find a way to let this make you a better person, learn from this, learn from your mistakes.
"A lot of guys don't get this opportunity. We had an opportunity to go to the Super Bowl, but we fell short. You just build from it and grow from it and move forward. Anytime you make it to the playoffs and have the opportunity to go chase a Super Bowl, it's very fun. It wasn't the outcome I would like or desired it to be, but it was fun."