NY Jets make huge free-agent splash signing DE Carl Lawson

NY Jets, Carl Lawson (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images)
NY Jets, Carl Lawson (Photo by Justin Casterline/Getty Images) /

The NY Jets have reportedly made their second splash of the free-agency period signing standout pass-rusher Carl Lawson.

As reported by NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport, the Jets have signed Lawson to a hefty three-year, $45 million contract with $30 million in guarantees. The deal is reportedly worth up to $47.4 million with incentives.

After a slow afternoon that saw the team net just one signing in the form of linebacker Jarrad Davis, the Jets have now added star wide receiver Corey Davis and Lawson within the past couple of hours.

Lawson was one of the top pass-rushers on the market and figures to play a key role in new head coach Robert Saleh’s defense.

Carl Lawson is a perfect fit for the NY Jets

A fourth-round pick of the Cincinnati Bengals back in the 2017 NFL Draft, Lawson got off to a fast start recording 8.5 sacks in his rookie season despite playing a part-time role, starting just one game.

The Bengals had high hopes for Lawson, but he played in just seven games in 2018 before tearing his ACL. He would return in 2019, but it was clear that he didn’t look like his old self finishing with five sacks, but a poor 55.5 Pro Football Focus grade.

However, in 2020, he reminded everyone of the potential that he showed in his rookie season.

Tasked with filling a full-time starting role for the first time in his career, Lawson was dominant in 2020 finishing with 5.5 sacks and a career-best 76.3 PFF grade.

Don’t let the lack of sacks fool you, Lawson was one of the best pass-rushers in the league a year ago.

His 64 pressures ranked fourth among all edge defenders and his 84.9 PFF pass-rush grade was one of the highest in the NFL. Lawson was a force last year, and now he’s gotten paid for it.

The former Auburn star is hardly a one-trick pony either. Lawson is a true three-down defensive end who excels both against the run and when asked to rush the passer.

He’s the complete package. And at just 25-years-old, this is a major addition for general manager Joe Douglas and the Jets.

Lawson will step into one of the starting defensive end roles and hopefully provide the Jets with the pass-rusher they’ve been searching decades for.

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Carl Lawson is the real deal. The Jets landed a great one.