Replacing Shaq Lawson with Mario Addison
One of the key decisions Brandon Beane and the front office had to make this offseason was whether or not to bring back Shaq Lawson. The former Clemson defensive end struggled for the first three years with the team and the Bills elected to not pick up his fifth year option so he was a free agent after this past season.
Lawson showed improvement and had a career year with 6.5 sacks however it wasn’t enough to get a new deal and he ended up joining the Miami Dolphins.
The reason the Bills will regret the decision to not bring back Lawson is that the deal he got from the Dolphins, three-years, $30 million, was almost the same deal the Bills gave Mario Addison, three-years, $30.45 million.
While Addison has been more productive rushing the quarterback, he has had at least nine sacks each of the past four years, he is seven years older than Lawson. If the Bills were willing to pay a defensive end an average salary around $10 million then it would make sense to go to the younger player.
Mario Addison is not a longer term answer at the position and the way the contract is structured, the Bills could cut ties next offseason. It remains to be seen what career Lawson will have, and if he can match Addison’s numbers, but it would make sense to pay the younger player if that was the money the Buffalo Bills were willing to commit.