After an unexpected successful season that included a trip to the playoffs, the Buffalo Bills are now at rest and will look to reload rather than rebuild for next season. The first phase of preparing for 2020 is free agency. The Bills have notable names that are set to hit the free agent market, including defensive end Shaq Lawson. Having his best year in 2019 with 6.5 sacks and being arguably the most consistent pass rusher on the Bills defense, Sean McDermott and Brandon Beane have a tough choice to make on his future with the Bills.
Lawson was drafted under the Rex Ryan-Doug Whaley era but has managed to adjust on the go in McDermott’s defense. His fifth-year option was denied before the start of this past season, making him a valuable asset to this defense going into a contract year. Even with his productive year, the team should lean towards the side of the fence that lets him walk and head to another franchise.
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This season was expected to be a good one for Lawson with it being his last year on his contract for Buffalo. Even with his productivity in the pass rush and finishing second in sacks on the team, there is no “WOW” factor to his game still. Up until this year, Lawson has not met the expectations on being a dominant defensive player. He has the talent and the tangibles without question, but it did not show until what could be his final year with the Bills.
The front office has done an exceptional job cleaning up the dead cap that was put on the Bills over the past years before the arrival of Beane. The mindset is to now spend money on key players who fit the culture and the scheme while producing at a high level. It may be too little too late for Lawson to earn himself a contract with the organization.
The best thing moving forward for the Bills is to move on from Lawson and look at different options to replace him. Yannick Ngakoue is an interesting player to look at…
Get ready for a long but exciting offseason Bills fans. Time to get ready for 2020.
-Brandon Ray is a Managing Editor for Full Press Coverage who covers the Buffalo Bills. Make sure to follow Brandon on Twitter at @brandon_ray79.