By Chris Schisler
The Baltimore Ravens signed Justin Houston yesterday. A large reason for the signing was that Houston wanted to win a Super Bowl. Houston came close with the Kansas City Chiefs. It was basically what happened to Jarrett Johnson, after a long run with his team they won the Super Bowl right after he left.
This isn’t the first time that a veteran player came to Baltimore because he wanted to cross being a Super Bowl champion off his to-do list.
In 2019, Mark Ingram came to Baltimore. Ingram was drafted in 2011. It was the NFL Draft after the Saints Super Bowl win over Peyton Manning‘s Indianapolis Colts. Ingram and the Saints got close to the Super Bowl a few times, only to lose in the most frustrating ways possible. Make no mistake about it, the former Alabama running back was chasing that Super Bowl ring.
The Ravens went 14-2 in the 2019 season. Ingram had a season just over 1,000 yards on the ground. He basically became Lamar Jackson‘s spokesperson and was one of the most loved players Baltimore ever had. Instantly Ingram was embraced by Baltimore. Not getting him a ring is something the franchise will always regret.
In 2016, the Ravens signed Eric Weddle. Weddle was one of the best safeties of his generation. In a nine-year run with the San Diego Chargers, Weddle had 851 tackles, 19 interceptions and, five forced fumbles.
After an unpleasant ending to his time with the Chargers, he chose the Ravens. He chose the Ravens over some stiff competition for his services. Weddle even turned down the Pittsburgh Steelers to come to be a member of the purple and black. He became the heartbeat of the defense, one of the definitive leaders of Ravens history. Despite his hard work and his impact on some good defensive units, the Ravens failed to make the playoffs with Weddle on the roster.
In 2014, Steve Smith Sr. signed with the Ravens hoping to get the Super Bowl ring that Adam Vinatieri deprived him of in his early days with the Carolina Panthers. There are players who really want it, then there are players like Agent 89. Smith Sr. has the kind of heart that Ray Lewis has. Nobody put more effort in than Smith Sr., in his three years in Baltimore. He got hurt in 2015, refused to let the injury be his exit, and came back for an inspired 2016 season. Despite Smith giving everything a man could give to the city, the Ravens missed the playoffs to the team.
Houston chose Baltimore and the Ravens need to reward that choice
Houston has enjoyed a great 10-year career in the NFL. He’s been to the Pro Bowl four times and he led the NFL in sacks in 2014. When you think of his accomplishments, the list isn’t exactly short. He hasn’t won a Super Bowl. At the age of 32, the Ravens may or may not be the last team he plays for. He certainly seems to have more than one year left in the tank, though his chances to win it all aren’t as plentiful as they were when he was 26.
This is the best chance Houston has had to win a Super Bowl since he was chasing Tom Brady in the 2018 AFC Championship game for Kansas City. Houston reportedly took less money to play for Baltimore. It took a while to sign him, but the impression the organization made got him here.
The Ravens have made that pitch before. Come here and win a Super Bowl. Come here and be part of a great organization that will give you a chance. It’s not a dishonest pitch. The Ravens are absolutely contenders, on top of that they are a top-notch franchise in professional sports. They have the 2019 NFL MVP, Lamar Jackson, and a strong roster. They have John Harbaugh and have had two exciting seasons in a row.
Still, the Ravens have made that pitch to Mark Ingram, Steve Smith Sr. and Eric Weddle. All three of those legends of the game left Baltimore without a Super Bowl victory. It’s time the Ravens give their big free-agent signing a chance to win it all. It’s time to get Justin Houston a ring. While they’re at it, the Ravens can get Calais Campbell his ring. That’s another player who is long overdue for football’s greatest glory.