Oakland Raiders defensive end Lamarr Houston is one of the top impending free agents available, and one thing that makes him so valuable is his scheme versatility. Even though he’s been locked in as a 4-3 defensive end for the Raiders, Houston has the strength and elite run defense to make a successful transition to the 3-4 defense as an end, and that’s why it wasn’t surprising to hear the NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport report yesterday that the Packers are among the teams interested in the 26-year-old.
However, the Green Bay Press-Gazette’s Pete Dougherty reports today that Houston’ client stated that the Packers have not called to ask about the DE. It doesn’t mean that the Packers aren’t interested in going after him at some point, but it does mean that they would be putting themselves behind the “8 ball” by being internally interested by not going after him.
Houston would be an intriguing fit for the Packers as a 3-4 DE, and he and Mike Daniels would form an excellent defensive end duo on a three-man front. But Houston would also command an awful lot of money, and I don’t think Ted Thompson will want to spend that kind of money on a player who might not be a great scheme fit. Houston seems to translate well as a 3-4 DE when looking at him on paper, but it’s less risky for the cap-conscientious Packers to go after a more predictable- and likely cheaper- player in Arthur Jones.