Buffalo Bills 2022 Free Agency Grades: Shaq Lawson

Shaq Lawson, Buffalo Bills (Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports)
Shaq Lawson, Buffalo Bills (Mandatory Credit: Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports) /

Shortly after the Buffalo Bills signed Von Miller, the team brought back a familiar face that should essentially complete the defensive end position for the upcoming season. While Shaq Lawson has never been a player to rack up sacks, he certainly can carve a role out in this rotation.

Let’s take a look at the player, the contract agreed to by Lawson and the Bills, and give a final grade for this move.

What does Shaq Lawson bring to the Buffalo Bills?

The Buffalo Bills originally drafted Shaq Lawson in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft and he would play four seasons in Buffalo. During that time, he was not a player that had high sack totals but was consistent in this department in the final three years with at least four in each of them.

He would leave in free agency in 2020 and sign with the Miami Dolphins and after one season there, he was traded to the Houston Texans. However, he was traded once again before the start of last season by the Texans and played most of the season with the New York Jets.

The area that Lawson will likely be able to contribute the most, and while this is a smart signing for Buffalo, is that he does a good job against the run. The fact that the Bills rotate their defensive ends so frequently allows the coaching staff to magnify the strengths and minimize the weaknesses.

For this upcoming season, it wouldn’t be surprising to see Lawson be paired with Von Miller on one side as Lawson can focus more on the run while keeping Miller fresh to just rush the passer.


According to Spotrac, the Buffalo Bills and Shaq Lawson agreed to a one-year deal worth $1,187,500 that has a cap hit of only $1,047,500. This cap hit ranks 78th among defensive ends in the NFL for the upcoming season

Final Grade: B+

This is one of those moves that there really isn’t any downside. Shaq Lawson is only 27 years old even though he is entering his seventh season so there is a chance that he could improve and reach that potential he showed coming out of college.

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However, even if he plays at a level he did in his final seasons with Buffalo, this is a move that should end up being a great bargain for the Buffalo Bills because of what he is able to do against the run. This should help him carve out a consistent role in the rotation at the position.