What does signing Justin Houston mean for the Carolina Panthers?

The Carolina Panthers finally got themselves a productive pass-rusher to put alongside Brian Burns.
Justin Houston
Justin Houston / Jessica Rapfogel-USA TODAY Sports
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Justin Houston is a key veteran signing for the Carolina Panthers

At 34 years old, Justin Houston is still a productive pass rusher in the NFL. He was a key part of the Baltimore Ravens defense last year with 9.5 sacks and 17 quarterback hits.

While he wasn't the same rusher that racked up 22 sacks with the Kansas City Chiefs 10 years ago, Houston is a quality edge defender that is an upgrade for the Carolina Panthers defense. Even if it's only for the short term.

After the Panthers announced the signing of Houston, I took a quick look at his game film from last season. I came away impressed with what he can still bring to the table despite getting older in age.

I was impressed with the power at the point of contact. When Houston got his hands on opposing tackles, you could see a vivid jolt from the former Georgia Bulldog. There were also consistent pass-rush moves and counters that I saw on his film with the utilization of combinations and inside counters to get opposing tackles off balance.

While Houston isn't as explosive as he once was, the three-time Pro Bowler is still quite adequate in this area as he shows plenty of burst in stunt and twist moves in the passing game. As a run defender, he is sufficient with sealing and squeezing gaps shut while setting the edge occasionally.

Houston has had an impressive career since being drafted in the third round of the 2011 NFL Draft - the same year Carolina took Cam Newton at No. 1 overall. After 12 years in the league, another chapter is set to begin for the long-time pass rusher.