Lamarr Houston’s headed to the #Bears for $35M over five years with $15M guaranteed. Solid for versatile DE>— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) March 11, 2014
The deal completes the nightmare that Raiders fans have dreaded; losing both Jared Veldheer and Lamarr Houston. To make matters worse, there are no more elite pass rushers left in free agency. With Justin Hunter as their best defensive end, the Raiders are in trouble.
Houston's 6 sacks led the Raiders last year. While his departure is depressing, it is not a surprise. Reggie McKenzie had all year to extend Houston's contract but he could not agree to terms with the star defensive end. A solid pass rush is necessary to compete in the AFC West against Peyton Manning, Philip Rivers and Alex Smith. As bad as the Raider's pass rush was last year with 38 sacks, they will be much worse in 2014 without Houston. Look for the Raiders to target a star pass rusher early in the draft that can fill the hole left by Houston's departure.