The Houston Texans aren't expected to compete for a Lombardi Trophy in 2021, and they could be sellers of talent even before the start of the regular season. On Friday, ESPN's Jeremy Fowler reported that Texans defensive end Shaq Lawson and safety Lonnie Johnson are players that have been "heavily discussed" in league circles as trade candidates.
Both players are in the midst of position battles, but could find themselves playing for new teams in the near future. Lawson hasn't even played a game as a member of the Texans, as he was traded to Houston in March. He was originally drafted by the Buffalo Bills with the No. 19 overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, and then signed a three-year, $30 million deal with the Miami Dolphins for the 2020 season. He recorded 32 combined tackles, four sacks and 18 quarterback hits in 14 games played last year, and was then traded to the Texans for Benardrick McKinney and a seventh-round pick.
As for Johnson, he recorded a 53-yard pick six in Houston's second preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys. He's a young player we identified as key to Houston's success this offseason, but it appears Justin Reid and Eric Murray are going to be the starting safeties. Johnson was selected by the Texans in the second round of the 2019 NFL Draft as a cornerback, but he became a safety during the 2020 season. It was a change that seemed to work, as he recorded a career-high 76 combined tackles despite starting in just five games.
Johnson is an intriguing strong safety who may have his best football days ahead of him at just 25-years-old. He's got great size and experience in coverage as a former cornerback. Both he and Lawson are garnering interest from teams, and could be on the move in the coming days.
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