Colts sign All-Pro pass rusher Justin Houston

The Indianapolis Colts entered the offseason with a need for a pass rusher, so general manager Chris Ballard addressed it with a player he knows well.

The Colts have signed outside linebacker Justin Houston, the team announced. The deal is worth $24 million over two years, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported, per a source.

Despite totaling nine sacks for the Kansas City Chiefs in 2018, Houston found himself on the outside looking in with the Chiefs set to switch from a 3-4 base defense to a 4-3 scheme under new defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo.

The Chiefs released Houston shortly before the start of free agency, and interestingly enough, he goes to a team that deploys a 4-3 base scheme.

Nevertheless, Houston projects as a defensive end in Indy, NFL Network's Tom Pelissero reported, and the veteran pass rusher has the size to fit that role at 6-foot-3, 248 pounds.

Ballard certainly understands what he's getting in Houston from their time together in Kansas City, where Ballard served on the player personnel staff from 2013 to 2016. So, this signing doesn't come without plenty of thought on how to utilize Houston's skill set to get after the opposing quarterback and help stop the run.

While Houston turned 30 in January and has dealt with nagging knee injuries in recent years, he has remained productive over the past two seasons with 18.5 total sacks in that span.

The Colts' defense totaled 39 sacks in 2018 to rank 19th in the league, and bringing in Houston's 78.5 career sacks to the mix should help Indianapolis add to the totals in 2019.

Additionally, the presence of Houston affords Ballard some flexibility in the upcoming NFL draft to use an early pick on another position of need.

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