Justin Houston was one of many players that received the dreaded franchise tag after a career year with the Chiefs in 2014. When Derrick Johnson went down with a torn ACL at the beginning of the 2014 season, I basically gave up on the Chiefs saying that they were finished and you need your best guy on the field at all times to be that difference maker. There is always a saying in football no matter the level: When one man goes down, the next man must step up and that’s exactly what Justin Houston did for the Chiefs in 2014. He became the anchor of that unit and the one who made plays all over the field. Today, he was signed by the Chiefs to a six-year/$101 million deal.
He brings a spark to this Kansas City defense. The one thing I immediately take away from his game is his first step. He has the quickness to get by anyone in his path trying to block him. He has great hands to shed blockers, rip at the football and make tackles which is key for that linebacker position. He has a good eye and a strong nose for the football but he is at his best when it comes to getting to the quarterback. He led the league in sacks last season with 22 and was a sack away from breaking Michael Strahan’s sack record of 22.5 in a single season. He’s an engine and does a lot of things well but I’m not sure if I agree with the numbers on the contract.
I’m not knocking Justin Houston and what he did last season, but after one breakout year, I don’t think he’s worthy of being the second highest defensive player in the league behind Ndamukong Suh and now JJ Watt is the third highest defensive player in the league behind Houston. Let’s see what he does now after finally getting paid.