CINCINNATI — Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Justin Houston thought he had earned an additional $500,000 … until he didn’t.
Needing one sack to reach an incentive of 10 for the season, Houston got to Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow early in the fourth quarter and celebrated with a somersault as he headed off the field. There was just one problem: it was ruled shortly afterward that the sack would be split between Houston and Odafe Oweh.
Houston was told on the sideline that he came a half sack short.
“It kind of broke my heart,” Houston said after the game. “If it was meant to be, it shall be.”
Houston reached $500,000 when he recorded five sacks and then received another $500,000 when he hit 7.5 sacks. That nearly matched his $1.12M salary for this season.
Oweh was under the impression that Houston only needed a half sack to total $1.5 million in incentives this season.
“I was just trying to get a sack,” Oweh said. “I didn’t know he needed a full one. So, I’m celebrating with him: ‘You got your incentive.’ Then, they’re like, ‘They gave you a half.'”
Houston finished as the Ravens’ sack leader with 9.5. Baltimore still hasn’t had a player reach double digit sacks in a season since Terrell Suggs in 2017.