Jets Encouraged to Reunite With $45 Million Pass Rusher

Carl Lawson

Carl Lawson could reunite with the Jets

The New York Jets may have lost out on Jadeveon Clowney, but one of the team’s recent pass rushers in Carl Lawson is still available via free agency.

Despite being considered a favorite to land Clowney, the former No. 1 overall pick opted to sign a two-year deal with the Carolina Panthers instead. The surprise move left the Jets without a true veteran pass rusher.

Jets Country’s Nick Faria shared a few replacement options that the Jets could pursue. Options included the likes of Bud Dupree and Calais Campbell, but Faria also mentioned a reunion with Lawson could be a possibility.

“If the two sides can come to an agreement on expectations and snap counts, though, a return for a small deal could be possible,” Faria wrote. “The only issue is Lawson’s health. He’s battled knee and back issues for multiple years now and will be hard for any organization to trust.”

Would Carl Lawson Consider a Jets Reunion?

Lawson was one of the more interesting free agent acquisitions the Jets have made over the last few years. However, a disappointing 2023 season could make it difficult for the two sides to work out a reunion for this upcoming season.

A former fourth-round pick in the 2017 NFL Draft, Lawson started his NFL career with the Cincinnati Bengals. He got off to a strong start with 8.5 sacks as a rookie, but was unable to replicate that success over the next few seasons.

Once his rookie deal was up, Lawson quickly found his next home with the Jets. He signed a three-year deal worth up to $45 million back in 2021. Unfortunately, Lawson tore his Achilles’ tendon just a few months later, ending his first season with the Jets before it could begin.

Lawson returned to play at a solid level in 2022, racking up seven sacks and playing in all 17 games. Last season was a different story, with Lawson only playing in six games while regularly being a healthy scratch.

The Jets parted ways with Lawson earlier this offseason, but if the 28-year-old can’t find work anywhere else, he may consider coming back on a short-term deal if he’s able to get more playing time in 2024.

Other Pass-Rushing Options for the Jets

Given their interest in Clowney, the Jets likely won’t sit back and accept what they have with their current pass rushers before the 2024 season begins.

General manager Joe Douglas could continue to look at other free agent options. Calais Campbell has been mentioned as a potential veteran the team could add. However, at 37 years old, Campbell could also decide to retire after a potential Hall of Fame career.

Bud Dupree remains an intriguing free agent for a team like the Jets. The former first-round pick is 31 years old with 46.5 sacks and 10 forced fumbles over the course of his nine-year NFL career. While he may not have the explosiveness he had earlier in his career, he could still be a solid rotational option.

The Jets could also look at taking a pass rusher in the 2024 NFL Draft. The team has taken a pass rusher in the first round of each of the last two drafts, taking Jermaine Johnson and Will McDonald. While a third straight first-round pass rusher isn’t likely, the Jets could take a look at other options later in the draft.

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