The Houston Texans made a trade with the Miami Dolphins Sunday morning, but it wasn’t the trade many people expected.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, the Texans are sending LB Benardrick McKinney to the Fins for DE/LB Shaq Lawson.
Houston and Miami have a deal: Texans are trading LB Benardrick McKinney to the Dolphins for LB Shaq Lawson, per league sources. The deal also will include a swap of late-round picks, but the focus is the LBs.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 14, 2021
McKinney spent his first six years of his NFL career with the Texans after being drafted in the second round in the 2015 NFL Draft.
In his six seasons, McKinney played an important role on the Texans defense and amassed 100 tackles in three of those seasons, including 2018, which resulted in a Pro Bowl appearance.
McKinney, 28, has three years left on his current contract, which is set to pay him just over $25 million over the life of the deal.
In return, the Texans acquire Shaq Lawson to fill the edge rusher position vacated by J.J. Watt.
Lawson, 26, was drafted 19th overall by the Buffalo Bills back in 2016. He has waffled in and out of the starting lineup since entering the league, but signed a three-year, $30 million deal with the Dolphins last spring.
Last year, Lawson recorded 4.0 sacks and his first career fumble recovery, resulting in his first NFL touchdown.
It sounds like a reasonable deal for both sides. The Texans likely needed to shed McKinney to create some cap relief, and they receive a player at a position of need in return for him by making this move. Lawson fills a need the Texans desperately have. This trade at first glance appears to be a rare positive acquisition for the team.