We’re less than a full day into NFL free agency, and we already have a good idea of what Carl Lawson is going to sign for.
While the Cincinnati Bengals hope to eventually re-sign Lawson to a long-term deal, it’s become clear that he’s about to break the bank with whoever he signs his next deal with.
Two of the top free agent pass-rushers have already agreed to lucrative contracts that could be similar to what Lawson will ultimately get.
It began with Baltimore Ravens outside linebacker Matt Judon agreeing to a four-year, $56 million deal with the New England Patriots.
Not long after that news broke, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers re-signed outside linebacker Shaquille Barrett to a four-year, $72 million deal. So expect Lawson to get something in the neighborhood of a four-year deal paying him around $14 million annually.
When those signings broke, Tom Pelissero did a segment on the NFL Network discussing the market for pass-rushers, which includes Lawson. Pelissero also mentioned free agent Trey Hendrickson as a possible target for the Bengals if Lawson goes elsewhere.
The edge market is moving fast. Two more that should come off the board soon: Carl Lawson and Trey Hendrickson. @nflnetwork pic.twitter.com/vCUtY9fHW4— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) March 15, 2021
Hendrickson, a fifth-year player in 2021, is coming off a breakout 2020 season with the New Orleans Saints, racking up a career-high 13.5 sacks to go with 25 total tackles, 12 tackles for loss, 25 QB hits, and one forced fumble.
The problem with Hendrickson is he has just one productive season under his belt, as he accounted for just 6.5 sacks, 40 tackles, six tackles for loss, 18 QB hits, and two forced fumbles in his first three seasons. He would probably be a downgrade from Lawson but still a solid replacement if it comes to pass.