The reported trade also included the Texans receiving a sixth round pick from the Dolphins, while the Texans are sending a seventh round pick to Miami.
The trade of McKinney ends the six-year run of the linebacker with the Houston Texans. He played 80 regular season games with the franchise since being drafted by the Texans in the second round of the 2015 NFL Draft.
This past season due to a shoulder injury, McKinney played in just four games where he had one forced fumble, while also collecting 19 solo tackles, and one tackle for loss. In 2016 McKinney had one of his best seasons with the Texans as he collected five sacks — his career high — then followed that with three sacks in 2017 as an inside linebacker.
For his career, McKinney started 77 games in Houston, while also having career totals of 14 passes defensed, four forced fumbles, two fumble recoveries, 11.5 sacks, 314 solo tackles, 35 tackles for loss, and 30 QB hits.
Houston Texans: Shaq Lawson is joining a defense that needs help
Shaq Lawson was a first round pick by the Buffalo Bills in 2016, and after four years with that franchise he joined the Miami Dolphins in 2020. In his one season with the Dolphins, Lawson played in 14 games with seven of those games being starts.
Lawson also had season totals of one pass defensed, one forced fumble, one fumble recovery, one touchdown, four sacks, 17 solo tackles, four tackles for loss, and 18 QB hits.
The Texans needed to add to their pass rush, and though Lawson isn’t a game changer, he can become a solid member of this defense. Plus the Texans have gained another sixth round pick in the trade in exchange for their seventh round choice, which is another positive part of this deal.
Houston has also added to their defensive end spot that was vacated when the Texans released J.J. Watt last month. Though Lawson isn’t Watt, he’s not a bad player and will have a chance to prove what he’s capable of doing on a defense that wasn’t very good a season ago.
As for trading McKinney, this move will not exactly help with the salary cap of the Texans as McKinney is due $7 million in base salary this season, with a cap hit number of $7.18 million. Lawson is due a base salary of $8.4 million with a cap hit number of $8.5 million in 2021.
Both Lawson and McKinney needed a fresh start, and it will be interesting to see which team will be the ultimate winner of this trade in 2021.