Carl Lawson

Latest On Jets’ Carl Lawson

The Jets were without one of their top free agent signings throughout the entire 2021 season, but it doesn’t appear that will be the case again this year. Carl Lawson has recovered from his torn Achilles and said today the he “expects to be back for training camp” (Twitter link via Connor Hughes of the Athletic). 

Lawson, who will be 27 by the start of the season, suffered the injury this past August. That ended what would have been his first year with New York before it even began. His arrival had led to optimism surrounding the team’s pass rush, given his production across four years in Cincinnati.

A fourth round pick of the Bengals in 2017, Lawson made an immediate impact in his rookie season. Despite starting only one of 16 games, he recorded 8.5 sacks. As his playing time increased year by year, he was never able to match that figure, but remained a consistent, disruptive presence on the team’s defensive front. With 20 total sacks to his name, and plenty of upside given his age, he signed a three-year, $45MM deal with the Jets last offseason. Due to the injury, though, the next regular season game he suits up for with New York will be his first.

“I’m going to be good to go, but it’s kind of up to the organization, how they want to play it, what they want me doing and stuff like that” Lawson said, via Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk“I’ll be ready to go at any time on a moment’s call.”

When he makes his Jets debut, Lawson will join an edge group also featuring the recently re-signed John Franklin-Myers and 2022 first-rounder Jermaine Johnson. Much will be expected of that trio, as they look to contribute on what the Jets hope will be a much-improved defense this season.

Minor NFL Transactions: 8/23/21

We’ll keep track of today’s minor moves here. Teams have until 4pm ET/3pm CT Tuesday to reach the 80-man roster limit.

Arizona Cardinals

Baltimore Ravens

Carolina Panthers

Chicago Bears

Cincinnati Bengals

Cleveland Browns

Dallas Cowboys

Denver Broncos

Detroit Lions

Green Bay Packers

Houston Texans

Indianapolis Colts 

Las Vegas Raiders

Los Angeles Rams

Minnesota Vikings

New York Jets

Philadelphia Eagles

Seattle Seahawks

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

  • Signed: OT Jonathan Hubbard
  • Released from IR via injury settlement: Sam Renner

Tennessee Titans

Jets’ Carl Lawson Suffers Achilles Tear

Carl Lawson will not play this season. After being carted off a practice field Thursday, the Jets’ recently acquired pass rusher went through an MRI that revealed an Achilles tear, Ian Rapoport of tweets.

The former Bengals defensive end had stood out in Jets training camp and was expected to be their lead rusher. This represents a brutal blow for a team that has struggled for years to generate consistent edge pressure.

The Jets gave Lawson a three-year, $45MM deal in March, bringing the Auburn product to the Big Apple to lead Robert Saleh‘s pass rush. Only T.J. Watt produced more quarterback hits than Lawson’s 32 last season. While Lawson has just one six-sack season on his resume, he has been a solid pass rusher over the course of his career. The Jets guaranteed him a lofty $30MM. This will leave the team severely shorthanded on the edge.

This marks Lawson’s second major injury as a pro. His 2018 season ended after seven games due to an ACL tear. He did, however, tear his other ACL while at Auburn in 2014. Lawson, 26, successfully bounced back from the ACL issue, recording five sacks and 22 QB hits in 12 Bengals games in 2019. He built on that in 2020, leading to a career-changing payday after the Bengals opted not to use their franchise tag on him.

New York has a quality defensive tackle corps, led by Quinnen Williams, but is now quite vulnerable outside. Veteran Vinny Curry represents the most proven option beyond Lawson, but this will be his age-33 season. The Jets have lacked a surefire edge difference-maker since their 2006 John Abraham trade. After finishing second in the 2018 Khalil Mack sweepstakes and seeing Anthony Barr backtrack on a 2019 free agency agreement, the Jets landing Lawson proved significant. They will just have to wait to see how he impacts their latest rebuild effort.

Jets’ Carl Lawson Carted Off Practice Field

Jets defensive end Carl Lawson was carted off of the practice field on Thursday morning with a leg injury. There’s no official word on Lawson’s condition yet, but it’s believed to be an Achilles issue (Twitter link via’s Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo). 

Lawson felt a pop when he suffered the injury (Twitter link), a sign that he could be dealing with a serious Achilles tear. That’d be a brutal blow to the Jets, who are counting on Lawson to spearhead their new 4-3 scheme.

Lawson, a former fourth-round pick of the Bengals, delivered serious pressure to opposing quarterbacks last season. He notched a modest 5.5 sacks, but his 32 QB hits were bested only by T.J. Watt.

The Jets gladly scooped him up with a three-year, $45MM deal with a chance to make up to $47.4MM. The deal included a whopping $30MM guaranteed to fill the Jets’ longstanding edge rusher void. Previous efforts to land the likes of Khalil Mack and Anthony Barr fell short — the hope is that Lawson can kick off a new era for the Jets’ front seven.

Lawson has managed to bounce back from serious injuries in the past. Despite suffering a torn ACL in 2018, he’s still managed to put together an impressive resume over the last four seasons. The Jets are hoping for the best this time around, but they might need another lineman to join Quinnen Williams and Folorunso Fatukasi up front.

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’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 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’s Tom Pelissero on Twitter) and cornerback Shaquill Griffin (per’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 “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’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.”

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 (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.