Defensive end Carl Lawson's departure from Cincinnati has turned into a most lucrative exit.
Lawson and the New York Jets have agreed to terms on a three-year, $45 million deal with $30 million in guaranteed money, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Monday. Lawson can earn a max of $47.4 million, Rapoport added.
Following four seasons with the Bengals, who selected him in the fourth round in 2017, Lawson hit the market as the No. 5 free agent and No. 4 pass rusher in Gregg Rosenthal's Top 101 free agents of 2021 and has hit upon a huge pay day in Gotham.
Lawson, 25, recorded 20 sacks over four seasons with the Bengals, including 5.5 last season, but his talents go beyond those numbers as his 64 pressures were fourth in the NFL, according to Pro Football Focus. Lawson also wreaked havoc to the tune of 22 and 32 quarterback hits in each of the last two seasons, respectively.
His addition should immediately improve a Jets pass rush that was led last season by Quinnen Williams' seven sacks.
New York has long desired a prototypical edge presence and Lawson was looking to get paid as such. As of Monday, both parties got what they were searching for.