Football analytics site Pro Football Focus continues to release chunks of its Top 101 players of the 2010s. Earlier in the week, seven current and former Kansas City Chiefs were named to their list. On Wednesday, they published numbers 25 through 49 — including one former member of the Chiefs.
46. EDGE Justin Houston
Injuries somewhat derailed Houston’s career, and that had an impact on the player he could have become. Still, at his peak, he was a legitimate rival for the best pass-rushers in the NFL and was more than capable of going toe-to-toe with the likes of Von Miller in the AFC West. Over a three-year span in the middle of the decade, Houston topped 90.0 in overall PFF grade every season, and he came within a sack of breaking the all-time single-season record in 2014. Houston wasn’t the same player after injuries started to take their toll, but last season a reduced role in Indianapolis saw him have his most productive pass-rushing season in years (60 pressures) and his best overall PFF grade (87.2) since 2015.
During his eight years in Kansas City, Houston garnered four Pro Bowl selections and was a first-team All-Pro in 2014 — the year in which he accumulated 22.0 sacks to lead the NFL. Following that season, the team gave him a six-year contract worth $101 million. While he was still an effective player and defensive leader, he never approached the same level of production as he did in 2014. By the spring of 2019, his $21 million salary cap hit had become untenable for the Chiefs. At the beginning of the league year, he was given an unconditional release.
Previously named to PFF’s Top 101 NFL players of the 2010s:
- TE Travis Kelce (50)
- LB Derrick Johnson (60)
- CB/S Tyrann Mathieu (66)
- EDGE Tamba Hali (78)
- RB Jamaal Charles (86)
- T Mitchell Schwartz (100)
- S Eric Berry (101)