The NY Jets have high expectations for defensive end Carl Lawson in his first season with the team. After all, there's a reason why they'll be paying him an average of $15 million over the next three years.
They believe that Lawson could finally end the franchise's decade-plus-long search for a game-changing edge rusher. Not since the days of John Abraham have the Jets had a pass rusher as talented as Lawson.
The Jets did plenty to upgrade their organization this offseason. From the coaching staff overhaul to a change at the quarterback position, the team looks completely different than it did a year ago.
But perhaps the team's best move of the entire offseason was the signing of Lawson. That's the sentiment shared by Connor Hughes of The Athletic who identified the Lawson signing as the best move of the Jets' offseason.
Was the Carl Lawson the best move of the NY Jets offseason?
A fourth-round pick of the Cincinnati Bengals in the 2017 NFL Draft, Lawson broke out in 2020 and established himself as one of the most disruptive pass rushers in the entire NFL.
His 64 pressures were good for fourth among all edge defenders while his 84.9 Pro Football Focus pass-rush grade ranked eighth in the league. Ignore his sack numbers — Lawson was a force in 2020.
And just one glance at a Bengals game would tell you that.
The Jets hope that Lawson can turn some of those pressures into sacks this season and continue to be the top-tier talent he was in Cincinnati.
Without a doubt, the addition of Lawson, who many believe was one of the best overall free agents on the open market this offseason, was an exciting, impactful signing.
But was it the best move the Jets made this offseason? You could certainly argue that it was.
You could also insist that the decision to move on from Adam Gase and replace him with Robert Saleh was the team's best move, although that one was more of an easy, obvious decision.
The same could be said for the decision to replace Sam Darnold with Zach Wilson. Although much like the Saleh hire, it's better to judge that decision in a few years' time.
One thing's for sure, though — Carl Lawson has a chance to be the Jets' most impactful offseason addition this year.