After trading for Lawson in March (he came from the Dolphins for linebacker Bernardrick McKinney), the Texans restructured Lawson’s contract, converting more than $7 million in 2021 compensation to a signing bonus. They ultimately got a sixth-round pick for their trouble.
The $7 million write-off for a sixth-round pick comes at a time when the Texans must choose between taking what they can get for Watson now or paying him $10.54 million this year in the hopes of getting more in the offseason. Whatever happens with Watson, the fact that the Texans gave Lawson $7 million in March and then dumped him for a sixth-round pick only five months later underscores that they erred in trading for him and, more importantly, in paying him.
That said, it’s always better for a team to admit a mistake. Doubling down in the hopes of concealing a blunder never makes things any better. But it definitely was a blunder. Draft picks are valuable, but $7 million is a lot to pay in 2021 for what became a sixth-round pick in 2022.
Here’s the question — with $7 million already burned up on a player who won’t be on the team in 2021, will that make the Texans less inclined to pay Watson $10.54 million to not play? If so, that points toward a deal getting done for less than three first-round picks and two second-round picks.