The teams will also be swapping late-round selections in the offer.
The trade can’t be made official until the start of the league season, which begins Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET.
The Dolphins have long admired McKinney, that must slide in as a starting inside linebacker opposite Jerome Baker and fill a void vacated by the launch of Kyle Van Noy along with the pending free-agency departures of both Kamu Grugier-Hill and Elandon Roberts. The Texans get an upgrade at border rusher by acquiring Lawson, who had four sacks last year when playing outside linebacker and is still a tough, dependable run defender.
The move comes following Houston signed linebacker Christian Kirksey to some one-year deal worth up to $4.5 million. McKinney, who signed a five-year, $50 million deal in 2018, didn’t have some guaranteed cash left on the last three years of his contract.
McKinney, a Pro Bowler in 2018, played in only four matches in 2020 before undergoing shoulder surgery.
In 2020, Houston signed within linebacker Zach Cunningham to some four-year, $58 million deal. Ahead of the Texans traded McKinney, the set were put to unite for over 10.5% of the Texans’ total cap in 2021.
Lawson signed a three-year, $30 million deal with Miami last March, and he’s now the second significant multiyear free-agent signing the Dolphins have parted with following one year, linking Van Noy. Lawson, who is set to earn $8.5 million in 2021, did not quite provide the pass rush generation the team was hoping for in his one year in Miami.
The Dolphins fill their hole at inside linebacker whilst creating a bigger hole at edge rusher, where just Emmanuel Ogbah and Andrew Van Ginkel stay as key contributors. This could signal Miami’s expectation to be busy at that place in free agency.