Justin Houston is returning to the Ravens. The 33-year-old veteran outside linebacker signed his one-year contract Tuesday at the Under Armour Performance Center.
Houston had 4.5 sacks, 17 quarterback hits and 34 tackles with Baltimore last season. He is third all-time among active players with 102 career sacks, trailing only Von Miller (115.5) of the Bills and Chandler Jones (107.5) of the Raiders.
Houston's return strengthens the Ravens' pass rush and outside linebacker rotation for the 2022 season. Edge rusher David Ojabo of Michigan was drafted in the second round, but while the Ravens expect Ojabo to play at some point in 2022, it remains to be seen how long it takes him to recover from the torn Achilles suffered March 19 at his Pro Day. Tyus Bowser, who led Baltimore in sacks last season with seven, is also coming off a torn Achilles suffered during the regular season finale in January.
Houston played 61 percent of the defensive snaps last season while starting 15 games, and he provided steady leadership as a mentor to young linebackers Odafe Oweh, Daelin Hayes, and others. Houston has also been extremely durable throughout his 10-year career, starting at least 15 games in seven of his 10 seasons.
Like defensive lineman Calais Campbell who re-signed with Baltimore earlier this offseason, Houston is a veteran player with a burning desire to add a Super Bowl victory to his resume.
"At this point, it's the main reason I'm playing," Houston said last year. "I'm not going to play with just any team. But we have the pieces to be special."