When Ted Thompson was in charge of the Green Bay Packers’ personnel department, most of the free agents he signed were players who had been released by their previous teams while still under contract. Julius Peppers is perhaps the best example of this — the Bears cut him shortly after the 2013 season concluded, and the Packers scooped him up.
That scenario could play out again in 2019. The Kansas City Chiefs are going to release veteran pass-rusher Justin Houston, first reported by FanSided’s Matt Verderame on March 4th and eventually corroborated by ESPN’s Adam Schefter on March 10th. Houston is an established player who has had tremendous success in 3-4 defenses, and he would be a great fit for the Packers.
Not only does he fit a need for Green Bay, and not only would he bring a veteran presence to the locker room, but he also has familiarity with the Packers’ outside linebackers coach, Mike Smith. Smith served as the Chiefs’ OLBs coach last season, helping Houston put up nine sacks in 12 games. Meanwhile, Dee Ford recorded 13 sacks on the opposite side.
If the report indeed is true and the Chiefs release Houston, Packers general manager Brian Gutekunst should get Houston’s agent on the phone immediately to at least test the waters and find out what sort of contract could get him to Green Bay. His arrival would lessen the need for a rookie pass-rusher to come in and make an instant impact, and with Houston entering his age-30 season, he should have a few more highly productive years ahead of him.