After Carl Lawson's season-ending Achilles tendon injury, the Jets were in dire need of a pass-rushing specialist. The team fulfilled that requirement by roping in Shaq Lawson, the Associated Press reported. Lawson has 20 1/2 sacks in five seasons with the Buffalo Bills and the Miami Dolphins. He was acquired by the Texans in a trade with the Dolphins in March this year.
Shaq Lawson was picked up 19th overall in 2016 by the Bills. The Bills made him a free agent in 2020 after he had 10 sacks in three seasons. The 27-year-old Lawson, who had a career-high 6 1/2 sacks in 2019, signed a three-year, $30 million contract with the Dolphins last year.
He had four sacks in 14 games, including seven starts, for the Dolphins. He also returned a fumble for a touchdown. In March, Miami traded him and a sixth-round pick in this year's draft to Houston for linebacker Benardrick McKinney and a seventh-rounder.
Shaq Lawson has two years and $9.8 million left on his contract, which was restructured by the Texans in March. He is making $990,000 this season.
He is a much-needed addition to a Jets defense that was deflated when Carl Lawson went down during a joint practice session with the Packers in Green Bay. Much of what coach Robert Saleh and defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich plan to do on defense is predicated on having a solid pass rusher to complement a pocket-squeezing D-line.
They had that in Carl Lawson, who was signed to a three-year, $45 million contract in March. He had been arguably the Jets' best player in training camp, consistently making his presence felt in the backfield and giving New York perhaps its first big-time pass rusher in 20 years.
Shaq Lawson will now help fill that void as a young but experienced edge rusher. The Jets also have Bryce Huff, a second-year defensive end from Memphis, who is expected to get increased playing time.
(With AP inputs)