Report: Bills decline fifth-year option on Shaq Lawson

The defensive end will enter the last year of his contract

Sal Capaccio
May 01, 2019 - 3:51 pm

Photo: Brett Carlsen - Getty Images

A league source has confirmed to WGR that the Buffalo Bills have decided against picking up the fifth-year option on defensive end Shaq Lawson.  The news was first reported by NFL Insider Mike Garofolo.

Lawson is entering the fourth year of his rookie deal, which means he’ll now be in the last year of his contract. But just because the option wasn’t picked up, doesn’t mean the Bills can’t retain Lawson. They would still have the option of placing the franchise or transition tag on him, or even work out an extension. 

The fifth-year option is guaranteed against injury, meaning if the Bills pick it up and Lawson gets injured before the 2020 league year begins next March, they’d still have to pay the salary, which projects to be about $10 million next year. The 2016 first round pick (19th overall) was much healthier last year than he had been his first two seasons, but has missed a total of 13 games over his first three years in the league.

The Clemson product has played 35 games in a Bills uniform, starting 17 of them. He’s collected 70 total tackles and 10 sacks in three seasons.


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