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Carl Lawson’s Reworked Contract: New York Jets Secure Star Defensive End for 2023 Season

The New York Jets reached an agreement with defensive end Carl Lawson on a reworked contract for the 2023 NFL season. This news comes as a relief to Jets fans who have been awaiting updates on Lawson’s future with the team.

Carl Lawson joined the Jets as a free agent in 2021 under a three-year, $45 million contract. However, the final season of the deal in 2023, which was set to pay Lawson $15 million and count $15.7 million against the Jets’ salary cap, had no guaranteed money. This led to widespread speculation that the Jets might release Lawson, thereby removing him from the books without owing him anything​.

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Jets coach Robert Saleh put these rumors to rest at the NFL’s annual meeting in March by affirming that Lawson would remain with the team in 2023 “as long as he can walk.” True to Saleh’s words, Lawson is set to stay, but not for the initially planned $15 million​.

The restructured contract offers Lawson a payment of $9 million for the 2023 season, with $8 million of that guaranteed. In addition, Lawson could potentially earn another $3 million through incentives included in the contract​.

This reworking of Lawson’s contract not only ensures the retention of a key player for the Jets but also significantly impacts the team’s financial situation. The new contract structure will slice a whopping $12.7 million off the Jets’ salary cap obligations for 2023. This move more than triples the amount of money available for the New York Jets, providing them with greater financial flexibility for the upcoming season​.

Lawson’s first season with the Jets was hindered by an Achilles tendon injury sustained in training camp, which kept him sidelined. However, he made a strong comeback in 2022, starting every game and playing 58 percent of the defensive snaps. He made 33 tackles, recorded seven sacks, and registered 24 quarterback hits, finishing second on the team in both sacks and quarterback hits​.

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