Pass Rush Specialist Projected To Make First Career Pro Bowl With Jets

Carl Lawson Bengals

Getty Cincinnati Bengals pass rusher Carl Lawson taking Derek Carr on a one-way trip to sack-city!

New York Jets general manager Joe Douglas is hoping to build a strong foundation that’ll be the catalyst for winning.

Right now that cupboard is pretty barren. The Jets haven’t sent a player to the Pro Bowl since 2019 (Jamal Adams).

Although this offseason, a ton of talent has been added to the roster through both the 2021 NFL draft and during the free agency period. Which has led one expert to believe a new cog to the Jets machine will have a chance to make his first career Pro Bowl next season.

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Former Cincinnati Bengals Star Is Ready to Break Through

Conor Orr of Sports Illustrated picked out 10 NFL players who could make their first Pro Bowl appearance in 2021. One of those elite few was former Cincinnati Bengals pass rusher, Carl Lawson.

This offseason the Jets were top-three in the league in cap space. One of the team’s top items on the to-do list was adding a versatile pass rusher. According to people in the building, the Jets got exactly who they wanted in Lawson.

It cost them a pretty penny — a three-year deal for $45M with $30M of that guaranteed. Of the 90 players on the Jets roster, Lawson’s $14.3M cap hit in 2021 is the largest on the team this year.

Now it’s time for the former Bengals star to put his newfound money where his mouth is. With big money comes massive expectations.

Over the last few years, Lawson has been on the precipice of superstardom in Cincinnati with a ton of quarterback hits, pressures, and an elite get-off. Now the Jets not only expect but demand results in the form of sacks.

Gang Green hasn’t had a double-digit sack season since 2015. The Jets have only had two players reach that barometer since 2010 (Muhammad Wilkerson did it twice and Calvin Pace somehow stumbled into it once).

If Lawson is going to live up to the Pro Bowl hype he’s going to have to end that embarrassing drought.

Head coach Robert Saleh and Jets defensive coordinator Jeff Ulbrich are banking on creating havoc upfront. If they’re unable to, their inexperienced group of cornerbacks will slowly but surely be picked apart all season long.

A Pro Bowl Ceiling Has Been Set

Not everyone is a fan of the annual Pro Bowl event. Some have critiqued the all-star game as nothing more than a popularity contest.

While there may be some morsels of truth there, regardless it is viewed as a barometer of relevancy.

That’s something unfortunately the current Jets haven’t been able to enjoy unless they bought a ticket to watch from the stands.

Since 2016 the green and white have had four Pro Bowlers Jamal Adams (2018, 2019), Andre Roberts (2018), Leonard Williams (2016), and Jason Myers (2018).

None of those players are on this team as we enter 2021. It’s up to Joe Douglas to create a winning culture here with the Jets and that starts with getting players to a Pro Bowl level.

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