It was a move that was somewhat telegraphed, but the value that the Jets got should not be understated. In return for Lawson, the Jets shipped a 2022 sixth-round pick to the Texans.
That's the pick that the Jets acquired in the Jordan Willis swap last October. Essentially, the Jets traded Willis and a 2021 seventh-round pick for Lawson.
There's no way anyone could spin that as anything other than excellent value at a major position of need.
The Shaq Lawson trade is excellent value for the NY Jets
Let's first get the obvious negatives out of the way first. Lawson was traded to the Texans in the offseason after a somewhat underwhelming first season with the Miami Dolphins in 2020.
It's not that Lawson was bad, per se. His 70.9 Pro Football Focus grade was still good for 29th out of all edge defenders. Rather, he was overshadowed by another free-agent addition, Emmanuel Ogbah, who went on to have a career year.
The Dolphins shipped him to Houston in the offseason in a package that brought them linebacker Bernardrick McKinney. Lawson was expected to play an important role in the Texans' defense this season before a quiet summer dropped his stock.
There were even rumblings that the Texans could release Lawson who had no guaranteed money remaining on his contract following an offseason restructure.
Instead, they sent him to the Jets. But this isn't about what the deal represents for the Texans, it's about what it does for the Jets.
No, Shaq Lawson isn't going to replace Carl Lawson. The Jets had already come to terms with the fact no player, Lawson or not Lawson, would be able to replace their prized free-agent addition.
Instead, the newer Lawson will more be tasked with filling the Vinny Curry role in the Jets' defense. And he comes at quite the bargain.
Lawson's contract has a base value of $990,000 in 2021. The Texans are paying $7 million for a player who will never play a game with them. And although his 2022 cap hit balloons to $9 million, none of it is guaranteed.
The Jets just traded for a rock-solid edge defender who should be one of the primary contributors in their defensive end rotation. And they did so for the price of a sixth-round pick while paying him less than $1 million.
Not to mention, that pick was acquired in exchange for a player who had played a grand total of two games with the team that year. On top of that, the Jets still have two sixth-round picks in next year's draft — as well as two fifth-round picks, and two second-round picks, and two first-round picks.
The Jets got Shaq Lawson for virtually nothing. This trade is superb value for the Jets and Joe Douglas.