The NFL trade deadline is five days away and the days of one member of the New York Jets’ defensive line may be numbered.
What Lawson Can Provide a Trade Partner
Multiple reports have surfaced that DE Carl Lawson has been made available on the trade block and Paul A. Esden Jr. of Heavy Sports has word that the Las Vegas Raiders are in the mix to make a play for him:
“Moe Moton, a Bleacher Report columnist who covers the Las Vegas Raiders, told me on “Boy Green Daily” that the Raiders would be a perfect fit for Lawson’s services,” Esden said. “He proposed a deal in which Las Vegas would offer a third- or fourth-round pick for Lawson.”
Lawson has yet to start in any of his four appearances for the Jets this season. He has three tackles on the year but has otherwise not made his impact felt in comparison to that of his 2020 or 2022 campaigns.
In contrast, Lawson was second on the Jets defense in sacks (7) and forced fumbles (1) a year prior. Lawson has the resume to bring back valuable assets if dealt before Oct. 31.
Lawson was drafted in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL draft by the Cincinnati Bengals out of Auburn University. The 6-2 stopper boasts career numbers of 114 tackles and 27 sacks in 68 total games played.
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Is the Raiders’ Alleged Trade Package Enough For Jets to Trade Lawson?
New York would essentially get a player of lesser or equal value at best for Lawson if they accept a third or fourth-round draft pick. Esden pointed out that Jets head coach Robert Saleh prefers to have depth at every position, particularly on defense.
Lawson signed a three-year, $45 million deal with the franchise in the summer of 2021 and is in the final year of his contract. He reworked his deal prior to the start of this season by taking a $7 million pay cut in guaranteed dollars.
While he could have been dropped without seeing a penny of the $15 million remaining for 2023, the salary reduction coupled with his diminished role are prompters that make other scenarios with guaranteed starter minutes and dollars more attractive to the soon-to-be free agent.
The Jets have 19 draft picks between 2024 and 2026. They need reinforcements on the defensive line as they’ve only sacked opposing quarterbacks 13 times. They also need depth behind starting TE Tyler Conklin to give QB Zach Wilson more threats down the field.