Although the Cincinnati Bengals brought in a player that ranked within the top three in sacks last season, they’ll be losing one that ranked in the top 15 in ESPN’s Sacks Created metric. The franchise added Trey Hendrickson and lost Carl Lawson.
Despite momentum that the Bengals would keep him, Lawson signed with the New York Jets. It will be a brutal loss for Cincinnati, as Lawson became a fan-favorite towards the end of his stint with the Bengals.
But, not everything about Lawson’s departure will be sad. Lawson to New York may return a valuable pick for Cincinnati.
Over the Cap’s expert Nick Korte dived into how despite his relatively low per-year salary, Lawson’s potentially uptick in snap count could help improve the fourth-round pick Cincinnati could be promoted to a third.
A third-round pick is a spot the Bengals should be able to bring in a highly-talented player. Last season, the team added Logan Wilson in the third round, so the slight upgrade isn’t something to forget about.
Cincinnati doesn’t typically lose high-profile players. A.J. Green, Carlos Dunlap, and Geno Atkins have stayed with the franchise for about the past decade, and although all three are no longer with the team, they didn’t leave in the middle of their respective primes.
The Bengals have done a good job at retaining talent, and now they just need to find the right talent to surround their franchise quarterback with. With the No. 5 overall pick and a healthy Joe Burrow, there’s hope Cincinnati can do just that.