Defensive Linemen Disappear Quickly

Houston (Kirby Lee - USA Today Sports)

Several of the top defensive linemen on the free agent market were signed quickly on Tuesday. One of those, Lamarr Houston, signed with rival Chicago.

If the Green Bay Packers are going to bolster their defensive line, they might have to wait for the second wave of free agency.

Or settle on their own free agents.

Three players linked to the Packers — Arthur Jones, Lamarr Houston and Red Bryant — were off the free-agent market in the relative blink of an eye.

Houston signed with rival Chicago for what ESPN's Adam Schefter said is a five-year deal worth $35 million. Houston, a second-round pick by Oakland in 2010, is coming off his best season with 69 tackles, including six sacks and 10 tackles for losses. He led the Raiders in sacks and with 16 quarterback hits, and he added two forced fumbles. The Packers' interest in Houston was rather minimal, according to a source.

The interest was higher in Jones, who was a fifth-round pick by Baltimore in 2010. Jones, however, was snatched up by Indianapolis with a contract worth about $6 million per season, according to Schefter. In 2012, he played in 16 games (six starts) and tallied 4.5 sacks and five tackles for losses. He was even better in 2013. In 14 games (13 starts), he ranked fourth on the team with four sacks and tied for second with eight tackles for losses.

The interest was also high in Bryant, who signed with the Jaguars after being released by Seattle. Bryant told reporters in Jacksonville that he had a trip to Green Bay planned before signing his four-year, $17 million deal. A part-time player for Seattle, Bryant tallied 1.5 sacks and 4.5 tackles for losses among his 30 tackles in 2013.

In other defensive line news from the early moments of free agency:

— The Falcons signed the best pure nose tackle, Paul Soliai, away from the Dolphins and pulled defensive end Tyson Jackson away from the Chiefs.

— The Dolphins will sign Earl Mitchell away from Houston.

— The Buccaneers signed Clinton McDonald away from Seattle.

Green Bay has four defensive linemen in free agency: B.J. Raji, Ryan Pickett, Johnny Jolly and C.J. Wilson. The Packers have a one-year deal on the table for Raji. Jolly's future won't be known until he recovers from offseason spinal fusion surgery.


Agree or disagree?: Discuss hot Packers topics in our, free forums. Leave Bill a question in the subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum.


Bill Huber is publisher of Packer Report magazine and PackerReport.com and has written for Packer Report since 1997. E-mail him at packwriter2002@yahoo.com, or leave him a question in Packer Report's subscribers-only Packers Pro Club forum. Find Bill on Twitter at twitter.com/PackerReport.

PackerReport.com Recommended Stories


  • Maybe it was never as bad as it seemed, but Green Bay's run defense is playing better, and a healthy Letroy Guion is one reason why. (John Konstantaras/Getty Images)

  • The Packers rolled out a shiny new wrinkle with a catchy name last week; we examine its roots and reasoning. (Benny Sieu/USA TODAY)

  • One of the worst defenses in the league "can't wait" to face Aaron Rodgers and the Packers on Sunday night. (Derick E. Hingle/USA TODAY)

  • Every week, Fantasy Football Expert Jeb Gorham digs in his list of rankings to find the best sleepers for deeper formats. Consider giving these players a chance, but be aware of the risk! Tampa Bay…

  • Check out this classic video of Dan Larson battling an acrobatic sailfish on a trip to the world-famous Tropic Star Lodge in Panama.

Up Next


Jamari Lattimore, one of the team's best special-teams players, should be in the inside linebacker…

Tweets