The Buffalo Bills have re-signed defensive end Shaq Lawson to a one-year deal, according to NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo.
Lawson was a first-round pick of the Bills in 2016 and spent his first four seasons in Buffalo. He left following a breakout 2019 campaign, signing a three-year, $30 million deal with the Miami Dolphins in the 2020 offseason. Lawson only spent one season with the Dolphins, where he racked up four sacks and one forced fumble. Lawson then had brief stints with the Houston Texans and New York Jets before returning to Buffalo in 2022.
In an interview with Spectrum News Buffalo, Lawson talked about his regret signing with the Dolphins.
“At the time, I thought that was the best decision for me,” Lawson said. “Looking back, I’d probably say that’s probably the worst decision I made.”
Lawson has always played his best football with the Bills, and that seems to be the case with teammate Jordan Phillips, who returned to the team earlier this offseason on a one-year deal. Lawson and Phillips are known for their celebration after the Bills stunned the Cowboys on Thanksgiving in 2019 to put the team on the map.
In 2022 with the Bills, Lawson was a key depth piece on the defensive line. The Bills’ defensive line is young, with guys like Greg Rousseau, A.J.Epenesa, and Boogie Basham trying to learn and get better in the NFL. Lawson was a veteran presence who worked with the young guys while star pass rusher Von Miller went down with an ACL injury.
Lawson was ecstatic when he returned to Buffalo in 2022 and talked about it with Jon Scott from Spectrum News.
“It’s home. Coach McDermott let me be my dog. That’s big with me,” Lawson said. “Let me be myself. Me, I can’t fake it. If I got to fake it for you it’s going to be hard for me. McDermott just let me be myself. Once he came to me when I signed back and said ‘Be yourself. Be that dog you used to be.’ Once I got that, that okay to say so, it just opened my game up and made me feel more comfortable.”
Lawson played on just shy of 45% of the team’s defensive snaps last season, consistently making his impact felt. The signing of Lawson will likely not count against the compensation draft pick formula, which means the Bills will still get the extra third-round pick next year. With Miller coming back from a torn ACL, Lawson brings a veteran presence who can give you quality snaps as Miller works his way back from injury.