The NY Jets are likely to be active in the trade market ahead of next week's deadline, and that pertains both to players they could look to sell and players they could potentially acquire.
One player who seems likely to be on the move within the coming days is defensive end Carl Lawson. Lawson has been the least productive of the 10 defensive linemen on the Jets' roster this season, and the Jets appear motivated to trade him before the deadline.
The Athletic's Zack Rosenblatt reported this week that a Lawson trade "feels inevitable" for the Jets. uSTADIUM confirmed that report on Wednesday, stating that the Jets have had "in-depth talks" with two teams regarding a Lawson trade.
The consensus is that he's expected to be traded before the deadline at 4 pm ET on Tuesday. There's a good chance that Lawson has played his final game with the Jets.
The NY Jets expect a Carl Lawson trade to get done
Hopes were high when the Jets signed Lawson to a hefty three-year, $45 million contract in the 2021 offseason. Lawson was arguably the best player that summer for the Jets prior to suffering a torn Achilles in training camp.
The former Auburn standout returned in 2022 to play all 17 games, but even though he finished with seven sacks, it was pretty apparent that Lawson wasn't the same caliber of player he was prior to his injury.
The Jets had the opportunity to cut Lawson this offseason and save $15 million in the process. Instead, they decided to restructure his contract, pushing dead money to 2024, with the hope that he could return to his pre-injury form this season.
Unfortunately, Lawson would suffer a back injury in the summer, and it's become increasingly apparent that said injury is still bothering him. Lawson isn't healthy, and it shows with his production on the field.
He's recorded just two pressures on over 70 defensive snaps this season. There's a reason the Jets made him a healthy scratch in Week 5 and that he's been relegated to a backup role when active — he's just not very good right now.
Regardless, Lawson was fairly productive in 2022, and some pass-rush-needy team might be willing to take a flier on him with the hope that he could return to full health at some point this season. The Las Vegas Raiders and Cleveland Browns are two teams to watch here.
The Jets would be better off giving Lawson's snaps to players like Will McDonald, Bryce Huff, and even Jermaine Johnson moving forward. Getting McDonald, the team's 2023 first-round pick, more snaps should be a top priority coming out of the bye week.
Barring any last-minute changes or injuries, it does seem inevitable that Lawson will be traded prior to Tuesday's deadline. If this is the end of his Jets tenure, it's a true football tragedy that we never got to see a fully healthy Carl Lawson in New York.