Carl Lawson

NFL Contract Details: Jones, Floyd, Williams, QBs

Some assorted contract details from around the NFL:

  • RB Aaron Jones, Packers: Four years, $48MM, including $20MM over first two years. $7MM roster bonus in 2023. Owed $16MM in 2023 and $12MM in 2024. Via NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero on Twitter.
  • LB Leonard Floyd, Rams: Four years, $64MM, including $32.5MM guaranteed. $14MM signing bonus. Salaries: $2MM (2021, fully guaranteed), $16.5MM (2022, fully guaranteed), $15.5MM (2023), $16MM (2024). Via Pelissero on Twitter.
  • DE Leonard Williams, Giants: Three years, $63MM, including $45MM. $22.5MM signing bonus. Salaries: $3.5MM (2021, fully guaranteed), $19MM (2022, fully guaranteed), $18MM (2023). Cap charges: $11MM (2021), $26.5MM (2022), $25.5MM (2023). Via Manish Mehta on Twitter.
  • QB Ryan Fitzpatrick, Washington: One year, $10MM, including $6MM guaranteed. Max value of $12MM. $6MM signing bonus. $3MM base salary, $1MM per-game roster bonuses. Up to $2MM in incentives. Via Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post on Twitter.
  • QB Jacoby Brissett, Dolphins: One year, $5MM, including $2.5MM guaranteed. $2.5MM signing bonus, up to $2.5MM in incentives. Via Pelissero on Twitter.
  • QB Andy Dalton, Bears: One year, $10MM. $7MM signing bonus, $3MM base salary, up to $3MM in incentives. Via Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle on Twitter.
  • LB Carl Lawson, Jets: Three years, $45MM, including $30MM guaranteed. $1MM signing bonus. Salaries: $6.2MM (2021, plus $7.8MM roster bonus), $15MM (2022), $15MM (2023). Cap charges: $14.3MM (2021), $15.3MM (2022), $15.3MM (2023). Up to $800K in sack incentives each year. Via Mehta on Twitter.

Jets, Carl Lawson Agree To Deal

The latest edge rusher domino fell Monday night, with the Jets securing a commitment from Carl Lawson. The former Bengals defensive end agreed to terms with the Jets, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets.

Lawson landed a three-year, $45MM deal to join Robert Saleh in New York, Rapoport adds (via Twitter). The Jets are shifting to a 4-3 defense under Saleh, and they will sign a player with four years’ experience as a 4-3 end. Lawson can earn up to $47.4MM on this contract, per Rapoport.

A former fourth-round Bengals pick, Lawson has not produced high sack numbers. But he broke through in terms of pressure last season. Only T.J. Watt recorded more QB hits than Lawson, who registered 32. This came along with 5.5 sacks.

Edge rusher has resided as a Jets need for many years. They attempted to trade for Khalil Mack and tried to convert Anthony Barr into an edge two offseasons ago, among other efforts to fill the need. Last year, the team surprisingly passed on edges in free agency and the draft, only re-signing Jordan Jenkins. The Jets, who also traded Leonard Williams in 2019, struggled to pressure quarterbacks in a 2-14 season. Lawson will be expected to be New York’s lead rusher next season.

The Bengals have now parted ways with Lawson and Carlos Dunlap in recent months, though the latter is back on the market after the Seahawks released him. Rumored to be a franchise tag candidate, Lawson did not receive such treatment from the Bengals. Despite suffering a torn ACL in 2018, the former Auburn D-lineman cashed in. Given the 49ers’ D-line situation under Saleh, it is unlikely Lawson will be the only notable move for the Jets here.

Franchise Tag Roundup: Dupree, Seahawks, Bengals

Despite some whispers of a potential delay, the deadline for teams to place franchise tags on impending free agents was today at 5 p.m. CT. While a handful of players learned that they were slapped with the tag, a number of players naturally learned that they’ll be entering unrestricted free agency. We collected some of those notable players below:

  • The Steelers decided to not tag Bud Dupree, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter (via Twitter). The linebacker was hit with the tag last offseason. The former first rounder had another strong season for Pittsburgh, compiling eight sacks in only 11 games.
  • A pair of popular Seahawks players didn’t get franchised: running back Chris Carson (per NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero on Twitter) and cornerback Shaquill Griffin (per NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport on Twitter). The team is planning to (at least) make a pursuit at retaining Griffin, per Rapoport.
  • The Bengals didn’t franchise pass rusher Carl Lawson, per Rapoport (on Twitter). The former fourth rounder has collected 10.5 sacks over the past two seasons, with Rapoport opining that the lineman is “one of the NFL’s most underrated players” heading into free agency.
  • The Lions decided to not franchise Romeo Okwara, according to Rapoport (via Twitter). The 25-year-old had a breakout season in Detroit, setting career-highs in tackles (44) and sacks (10).
  • Despite leading the Cardinals with 12.5 sacks last season, Arizona didn’t franchise linebacker Haason Reddick (according to Schefter on Twitter). The former first-rounder also set career-highs in QB hits (16) and tackles for loss (15).
  • The Titans didn’t franchise tight end Jonnu Smith, per Schefter on Twitter. The 25-year-old has shown flashes during his brief NFL career, including a 2020 campaign where he set career-highs in receptions (41), receiving yards (448), and touchdowns (eight).

As a reminder, here are the players who have reportedly been tagged over the past 48 hours:

AFC North Notes: Judon, Bengals, Steelers

After being franchise-tagged last year, Matt Judon appears closer to hitting the market for the first time. The free agent-to-be has said a return to the Ravens would require circumstances to align perfectly, providing a clear indication a hometown discount will not be in the cards. Judon, though, is not ruling out a Ravens return. If the veteran edge rusher is to leave Baltimore, however, he may not be willing to sign with one of the league’s rebuilding teams. Judon said he wants to land with a winning team, per veteran NFL reporter Josina Anderson (on Twitter). The 29-year-old defender joins teammate Yannick Ngakoue, who did not see full-time action for the Ravens in the playoffs, and Shaquil Barrett and Bud Dupree as edge rushers eager to cash in after being tagged last year.

Here is the latest from the AFC North:

  • Carl Lawson is on the precipice of free agency for the first time, separating him from a few of this year’s UFA edge rushers. But the Bengals may not be willing to let him go. The Bengals are prepared to use their franchise tag on Lawson, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports notes. While some believe the team would rather tag cornerback William Jackson, more buzz has emerged about the team keeping the four-year defensive end cog. Although Lawson only tallied 5.5 sacks last season, his 32 quarterback hits ranked second in the NFL.
  • With the cap-strapped Steelers unlikely to tag anyone this year, they would need to extend Dupree before March 17 to keep him off the market. GM Kevin Colbert did not indicate Dupree would be prioritized. “We have to adjust and know that he might be a possibility, he might not be,” Colbert said, via SI.com. “We’re never going to eliminate a great player like Bud Dupree, because we don’t know what Bud’s market is, and Bud doesn’t know what his market is at this point.” The legal tampering period begins March 15. It is possible the 2021 salary cap number will not emerge until shortly before that date, complicating matters for teams hoping to extend big-ticket free agents.
  • Despite Zach Banner suffering a torn ACL in Week 1, Mike Tomlin informed the offensive tackle he had a path to regain a starting job in 2021. “Coach T looked at me and said, ‘You are my answer for 2021, so I need you to focus on your knee, don’t worry about anything else,’” Banner said, via The Athletic’s Mark Kaboly (subscription required). “That was the best thing that I could’ve heard.” Banner, Pittsburgh’s Week 1 right tackle starter, re-signed with the Steelers on a one-year, $1.75MM deal. A similar contract may be in the cards for the four-year veteran. The Steelers may be leaning toward letting Villanueva, their six-year left tackle starter, walk in free agency. One season remains on right tackle Chukwuma Okorafor‘s rookie contract.

DE Carl Lawson Eyeing Week 1 Return

Carl Lawson is less than nine months removed from suffering a torn ACL, but the Bengals defensive end is still confident that he’ll be ready for the start of the season. The 24-year-0ld told NFL Network’s Good Morning Football that he’s looking to return in time for Week 1.

“The goal is to be out there Week 1, and I’m feeling great,” Lawson said (via NFL.com’s Kevin Patra). “Thankfully I can take care of my body, I’ve got a lot of different resources, I can fly to places, I can do everything underneath the sun because I have the money to do it. So, it’s been a great rehab process.”

Lawson was selected in the fourth round of the 2017 draft and immediately contributed on the Bengals’ defensive line. While Cincy limited his playing time during his rookie campaign (Lawson played 41% of the team’s defensive snaps in 2017), he still managed to post 8.5 sacks and 21 quarterback hits, the latter of which tied him for 19th league-wide. This past season, Lawson had posted only one sack, but still was ranked as a top-15 edge rusher, per Pro Football Focus.

The Bengals will look a whole lot different in 2019, with head coach Zac Taylor leading the new additions. The team will also welcome back a number of injured players, including Andy DaltonA.J. GreenPreston Brown and (potentially) Tyler Eifert. If the Bengals can remain healthy next season, Lawson is confident that the team can compete.

“You can expect a lot, but at the same time, in this league, that’s what separates different teams, being able to be healthy throughout the season,” he said. “I think the main thing is being able to have that depth, and that carry over, so when things do happen. You know, because everybody’s like ‘Oh, well if we were healthy, if this or that, whatever’ — not that many injuries as we had last year — but I think you can expect a lot from us.”

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bengals DE Carl Lawson Tears ACL, Done For Season

Bengals defensive end Carl Lawson suffered a torn ACL against the Buccaneers and will miss the remainder of the 2018 season, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link).

Lawson, 23, was selected in the fourth round of the 2017 draft and immediately contributed upon entering the NFL. While Cincinnati limited his playtime given his collegiate injury history (Lawson saw only 41% of the Bengals’ defensive snaps a year ago), he still managed to post 8.5 sacks and 21 quarterback hits, the latter of which tied him for 19th league-wide. This season, Lawson had posted only one sack, but still was ranked as a top-15 edge rusher, per Pro Football Focus.

Despite a bevy of talent up front, the Bengals entered Sunday’s contest ranked just 19th in adjusted sack rate, and they’ll now have to move on without Lawson in tow. Carlos Dunlap and Michael Johnson are Cincinnati’s starters at defensive end, while Sam Hubbard and Jordan Willis will continue to get rotational snaps.

The Bengals don’t currently have a defensive end on their roster, so they could conceivably look to the free agent market for reinforcements, although — unsurprisingly — there aren’t a ton of quality options freely available. A trade could also be possible, although Cincinnati would have to work out a deal before Tuesday’s trade deadline.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bengals Sign John Ross

The Bengals have signed first-round pick (No. 9 overall) John Ross and fourth-round pick (No. 116 overall) Carl Lawson to their rookie contracts, per Jim Owczarski of the Cincinnati Enquirer (via Twitter).

Apr 27, 2017; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Washington Huskies receiver John Ross poses after being selected as the number 9 overall pick by the Cincinnati Bengals in the first round the 2017 NFL Draft at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Ross, of course, had a breakout final season at Washington (81 catches for 1,150 yards and a whopping 17 receiving TDs), and he has game-breaking speed, which will be an excellent complement to A.J. Green in Cincinnati. The concern, of course, is that the diminutive wideout has major medical red flags, which caused some teams to drop him on their boards or remove him from their boards entirely. Ross tore his ACL and missed the 2015 collegiate campaign and also underwent labrum surgery after the combine, and we heard last week that some clubs only view him as a one contract player and not as a long-term investment.

If he stays healthy, his explosiveness could be a boon to the Bengals both on the offensive side of the ball and in the return game. He will be in line for a four-year deal worth roughly $17MM and a $10.5MM signing bonus.

Lawson, meanwhile, was the first of three fourth-round selections the Bengals made, and he will earn roughly $3MM over the life of his four-year pact. The Auburn product amassed 9.5 sacks in his final collegiate season, and Cincinnati plans to utilize his pass-rushing skills from the outside linebacker position even though he lined up as a defensive end in college.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Draft Notes: Latest Declarations

A quick look at the latest college players who will head for the 2016 NFL Draft:

  • Indiana defensive tackle Darius Latham has declared, according to Fox Sports’ Bruce Feldman (Twitter link).
  • Auburn defensive lineman Carl Lawson will enter the draft, per Tony Pauline of DraftInsider.net (Twitter link).
  • UCLA running back Paul Perkins announced his draft intentions via Twitter.
  • Fellow Baylor teammates expect defensive tackle Andrew Billings and cornerback Xavien Howard to depart school in favor of the draft, Pauline tweets.
  • Marshall defensive back Corey Tindal also tweeted that he will enter the draft.
  • San Diego State cornerback Damontae Kazee announced that he’s headed for the pros, Kirk Kenney of the San Diego Union-Tribune writes.
  • San Jose State defensive back Cleveland Wallace III joined International Sports Agency (Twitter link).