AFC East news: Former Bills first-round pick traded back to division

·2 min read

Shaq is back.

Former Buffalo Bills first-round pick from 2016, defensive end Shaq Lawson, has been traded to his third AFC East team.

Over the weekend, Lawson was sent by the Houston Texans to the New York Jets. The Texans received a sixth-round pick for him.

After starting his career with the Bills, Lawson signed with the Miami Dolphins as a free agent prior to the 2020 season via a three-year deal worth $30 million. Lawson’s rookie deal with the Bills had expired and Buffalo did not pick up the fifth-year option on his deal, making him a free agent.

After one year in Miami, the Dolphins then traded the 27-year-old to the Texans in March for linebacker Benardrick McKinney. In 2020, Lawson had four sacks in 14 games played for the Fins.

Regarding the latest trade, it makes sense for both the Texans and Jets.

Houston has a massive shadow cast over it via quarterback Deshaun Watson. The QB’s name was tossed into potential trade discussions, or at least he had a desire to be traded. Then his off-field issues have put his future into even more question.

When your franchise quarterback might not play for you anymore, you might turn out to be a rebuilding team. Considering that, getting Lawson off the books makes sense for the Texans and New York was a perfect trade partner. There were also questions in Houston regarding Lawson’s fit in their defensive scheme.

This offseason the Jets signed Carl Lawson to a large contract to inject some playmaking into their pass rush. However, Lawson tore his ACL last week and will miss the 2021 season.

Lawson is essentially being tasked with being… Lawson’s replacement.

According to New Jersey.com, the two are not related.

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