Report: Shaq Lawson Traded to Texans from Dolphins for Benardrick McKinney

Jenna CiccotelliAnalyst IIMarch 14, 2021

Miami Dolphins outside linebacker Shaq Lawson (90) waits for a play during the first half of an NFL football game against the Kansas City Chiefs, Sunday, Dec. 13, 2020, in Miami Gardens, Fla. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)
Wilfredo Lee/Associated Press

The Houston Texans and Miami Dolphins are swapping linebackers, per ESPN's Adam Schefter.

Houston sent linebacker Benardrick McKinney to Miami in exchange for Shaq Lawson on Sunday, said Schefter, who added that the transaction also includes late-round draft picks, though "the focus" is the linebackers.

Per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, the Texans also secured their fourth sixth-round pick for the 2021 draft, taking over Miami's in exchange for their seventh-round selection.

McKinney reportedly was among the catalysts for the transaction, since he received permission from Houston to explore trade options "over the last few days," according Ian Rapoport of NFL Network. Though he was limited in 2020, his desire to move on may be another sign of a systemic issue in Houston.

J.J. Watt requested his release from the team, going on to sign with the Arizona Cardinals, and quarterback Deshaun Watson has expressed his wishes for a trade throughout the offseason—though the Texans aren't giving in.

McKinney appeared in four games last season before he was moved to injured reserve and underwent shoulder surgery (h/t Wilson). The Mississippi State product, a second-round pick by Houston in 2015, had a Pro Bowl season in 2018. He broke up seven passes and tallied 105 tackles, tallying his only career interception. 

In 14 games in 2019, McKinney had three pass breakups and 101 tackles.

Lawson, a first-round pick out of Clemson by the Buffalo Bills in 2016, made seven starts for the Dolphins in 2020, with 32 tackles and four sacks in addition to a fumble recovery that he ran for a touchdown. 

He is the second addition at the position for the Texans so far this offseason. Christian Kirksey joined the team on Friday, per Wilson.