The Texans have struck a trade, sending pass rusher Shaq Lawson to the New York Jets in exchange for a 2022 sixth-round draft pick, according to league sources not authorized to speak publicly.
Lawson helps replace injured Jets defensive end Carl Lawson, who tore his Achilles tendon and is out for the season.
Acquired this offseason from the Miami Dolphins in a trade in exchange for former Pro Bowl linebacker Benardrick McKinney, Lawson had an underwhelming preseason and now is back in the AFC East for the third time. Lawson trailed Charles Omenihu, Whitney Mercilus, Jordan Jenkins and Jacob Martin on the Texans' depth chart.
The Texans take on $1.7 million in dead money this year and $5.3 million in dead money in 2022.
The former Buffalo Bills first-round draft pick from Clemson has 140 career tackles, 20½ sacks, 56 quarterback hits and one touchdown on a fumble recovery.
Lawson had four sacks and 18 quarterback hits last season for the Dolphins after signing a three-year, $30 million contract.
The Texans restructured his traded contract to create $5.285 million in salary cap savings. The Texans lowered his salary-cap figure to $3.242 million for 2021 from $8.5 million.
He's still due $8 million this year, through a $990,000 fully guaranteed base salary for skill, injury and salary cap, plus a $6.91 million bonus and $100,000 of his workout bonus and added voidable years in 2023 and 2024 for salary-cap accounting reasons. He has an additional $1.5 million in incentives he can earn for sacks and team performance.
In 2022, Lawson is due a $8.9 million base salary, a $100,000 workout bonus and has a $10.752 million salary-cap figure. He can make another $2 million through incentives for sacks and team performance.
Aaron Wilson has covered the NFL for 20 seasons, including the Texans, Baltimore Ravens, Tennessee Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars. He has previously written for The Houston Chronicle and The Baltimore Sun. He’s on Twitter: @AaronWilson_NFL and Instagram: @aaronwilson7128.