San Francisco 49ers: 4 free agents to steal from AFC South

Defensive end Justin Houston #50 of the Indianapolis Colts (Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images)
Defensive end Justin Houston #50 of the Indianapolis Colts (Photo by Chris Unger/Getty Images) /
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Justin Houston, Indianapolis Colts
Indianapolis Colts defensive end Justin Houston (99) Mandatory Credit: Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports /

EDGE. Indianapolis Colts. Justin Houston. 1. player. 46.

49ers Free-Agent Target No. 1: EDGE Justin Houston

Just when you think you’ve got enough pass-rushers, go out and add another.

San Francisco’s pass-rushing depth won’t be solved this offseason simply by grabbing one name to pair with Nick Bosa. No, John Lynch should look at more than a few second- and third-tier options, too.

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True, Colts EDGE Justin Houston is no longer the kind of player he was back during his prime with the Kansas City Chiefs. Having just turned 32 years old, it’s also safe to say he’s on the downside of an otherwise standout career, as his eight sacks in 2020 marked the lowest number he’s had over a full 16-game season since his rookie year back in 2011.

That said, supplementary pass-rushers are still important. And a team like the 49ers wouldn’t be relying on a player of Houston’s ilk to be an every-down defender.

It wouldn’t be unlike what the Niners did back in 2017 with EDGE Elvis Dumervil, who was on the downside of his own career yet still managed to finish that season with 6.5 sacks — his last year within the league.

Hitting the twilight of his own career, Houston might be a cheaper option than many of the other pass-rushers poised to cash in on a massive contract.

And San Francisco could also stand to benefit from Houston’s experience and leadership, too.

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