An AFC swap of prominent linebackers came to fruition Sunday.
Pro Bowl linebacker Benardrick McKinney is being traded from the Houston Texans to the Miami Dolphins in exchange for linebacker Shaq Lawson, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport reported Sunday. The deal also includes a swap of late-round picks, Rapoport added.
McKinney, who's coming off a 2020 season cut to four games due to shoulder surgery, was granted permission to seek a trade over the past few days, Rapoport reported. With the Dolphins and Titans showing the most interest, Miami and Houston were able to get a deal done on Sunday morning, Rapoport added.
For Lawson, an outside presence, and McKinney, a middle backer, the deal looks to favor each player in terms of heading to a defense with a scheme that favors their talents better.
A 2016 first-round pick by the Buffalo Bills, Lawson is set to play for his third team in as many seasons. Following four years with Buffalo, Lawson played the 2020 campaign with the Fins, recording 32 tackles and four sacks along with a fumble recovery for a touchdown in 14 games (seven starts).
McKinney, an inside linebacker, was a 2015 second-round pick for the Texans. He's been a starter for Houston since then, recording three 100-tackle seasons, including a 2018 Pro Bowl campaign.
McKinney will be the latest longtime Texan moving on from Houston and the newest Dolphin for Brian Flores' new-look defense.