Why the Texans traded Shaq Lawson

When the Texans traded veteran defensive end Shaq Lawson to the New York Jets, it wasn't because they wanted a sixth-round draft pick in exchange for the former first-round draft pick.

It was a case of Texans general manager Nick Caserio not being ruled by financial decisions.

It was a football move for the former New England Patriots executive.

Lawson had a disappointing training camp after being acquired from the Miami Dolphins in exchange for former Pro Bowl linebacker Benardrick McKinney, who was informed of his release Monday, according to a league source not authorized to speak publicly.

While the Jets are hoping that Lawson can revive his career as the replacement for Carl Lawson, who's out for the season with a torn Achilles tendon, the Texans are feeling good about their depth at defensive end with Charles Omenihu, Whitney Mercilus, Jacob Martin and Jordan Jenkins.

The Texans took on $1.7 million in dead money this year and $5.3 million in dead money in 2022 by parting ways with the former Buffalo Bills first-round draft pick from Clemson who 140 career tackles, 20½ sacks, 56 quarterback hits and one touchdown on a fumble recovery.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Houston Texans

Photo: Getty Images

Lawson had four sacks and 18 quarterback hits last season for the Dolphins after signing a three-year, $30 million contract.

“We made that decision simply because, we keep the best players that we feel like are playing good for us at this time," Texans coach David Culley said. "Shaq happened to be in a position group with a lot of depth. When we make decisions on players, we make decisions on who we feel like is playing the best at that time. We felt like those other guys were playing the best at that time. It was a situation where we could make our team better by making that trade, and it just happened to be Shaq.”

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.

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