Bills’ Former First-Round Pick Begs on Twitter to Return to Buffalo

Shaq Lawson

Getty Defensive end Shaq Lawson #50 of the New York Jets reacts to a play during the fourth quarter against the New England Patriots at MetLife Stadium on September 19, 2021.

Shaq Lawson, whom the Buffalo Bills picked in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft, has made it crystal clear that he would like to return to Buffalo. The defensive end initially left the Bills in free agency to sign with the Miami Dolphins, before getting traded to the Houston Texans, and most recently, the New York Jets.

Lawson, 27, jumpstarted his campaign to get back to Buffalo by tweeting out a GIF of himself in a Bills uniform, rocking a Zubaz arm sleeve. Bills safety Jordan Poyer amplified the short video by retweeting it with a long series of side-eye emojis.

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Lawson then retweeted Poyer’s response and sent a direct message about his intentions for the 2022 NFL season. “I am trying come back home. I miss y’all boys it been long two years,” he tweeted.

After Lawson was released by the Jets in January, there was speculation over whether or not the Clemson alum would return to play at Highmark Stadium. While Lawson recorded a career-high 6.5 sacks in 2019 — his final season with the Bills — his production nose-dived after leaving Buffalo.

Over the past two seasons, he’s tallied a total of five sacks. One person responded to Lawson’s message by tweeting, “He was awful with the #jets last year,” to which the defensive end tweeted back, “Lol everything was awful.” The Jets finished the 2021-22 NFL season in last place in the AFC East with a 4-12 record.

ESPN Reported There’s ‘Mutual Interest’ Between Lawson & the Bills

Shaq Lawson

GettyShaq Lawson #90 of the Buffalo Bills celebrates as he walks off the field after the Bills 17-10 win over the Pittsburgh Steelers at Heinz Field on December 15, 2019.

There’s a chance Lawson’s Twitter campaign to return to Buffalo actually pans out. ESPN Jeremy Fowler tweeted on Wednesday, March 9, “I’m told there’s mutual interest in Shaq Lawson returning to Buffalo but nothing is imminent on a deal.

In a follow-up tweet, Fowler tempered expectations, adding that the “Bills do due diligence on all free agents but the team isn’t actively negotiating anything on this front.”

Power 96.5 sports director Muki Hawkins also confirmed there’s been discussion in Buffalo about adding Lawson to the roster. Hawkins tweeted, “I spoke with Brandon Beane at combine concerning @Shaq_Lawson90 and his words were ‘We want Shaq to get healthy’ so hopefully he is and should be by now! I think it will happen.”

There Could Be Another Major Buffalo Homecoming If the Bills Sign Ryan Fitzpatrick

Ryan Fitzpatrick

GettyBuffalo Bills quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick on the field during a game against the New York Jets.

Lawson’s return to Buffalo is not the only homecoming that could happen before the start of the 2022 NFL season. With quarterback Mitch Trubisky on his way out, the Bills need to find a new backup for superstar Josh Allen.

According to The Athletic’s Joe Buscaglia, the one clear, easy answer to fill that vacancy is to bring back one of the franchise’s former starters, Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Fitzpatrick, after signing a one-year, $10 million contract with the Washington Commanders, suffered a season-ending injury in the second quarter of the team’s season opener, and never returned to play. On March 6, the Commanders head coach Ron Rivera “essentially confirmed” to WGR 550‘s Sal Capaccio that the 39-year-old veteran won’t be returning to Washington.

“We’re now in a situation where we’re going to look, and we’re going to look to move forward,” Rivera said. “We are still evaluating all of our options.” In other words, it’s highly like Fitzpatrick will be available in free agency, and the Bills should be able to snag him for cheap.

“The pairing of this Bills team and Fitzpatrick makes almost too much sense,” Buscaglia wrote. The Bills don’t have a ton of cap space, but they also know how important it is to have a backup quarterback who can win games if the hit-taking Allen suffers an injury.”

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