Back in 2017, Carl Lawson began his NFL career with the Cincinnati Bengals after being drafted by them in the fourth round of the 2017 NFL Draft. In his rookie year, the Bengals found out the type of player they got in Lawson.
Lawson would finish his rookie year with a still-career-high 8.5 sacks and 21 QB hits. It wasn't until 2020 that Lawson would truly become one of the better pass rushers in football, recording career highs in just about everything except for sacks.
Lawson is certainly a very good player who needs to re-establish himself after injury, and this year could be the year we see Lawson unlock his full potential.
Carl Lawson could fulfill his full potential in the 2023 season
The Jets signed Lawson to a three-year deal worth $45 million in March of 2021. Unfortunately, his first season with Gang Green would be less than ideal as he would miss the entire year due to a torn Achilles suffered in a joint practice with the Green Bay Packers in August.
This year, we saw a little bit of a return to form with Lawson, despite not being fully healthy. Unfortunately, Lawson had a setback last summer, which led to him not even being able to run until a couple of months before the season kicked off. Despite this, he still played in and started all 17 games.
Lawson would finish his first real season with the Jets with 33 total tackles, seven sacks, and 24 QB hits. With the acquisition of Jermaine Johnson and Will McDonald in the past two NFL Drafts, it's safe to say this year will be a make-or-break one for Lawson, even after taking a pay cut this offseason.
The Jets, and Jets fans, had exponentially high expectations for Lawson, and rightfully so. While he may not have achieved it yet, it should be very interesting to see how Lawson plays while fully healthy.
One thing we know for sure is that this year will make or break Carl Lawson's stint with the New York Jets.