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NFL Notes: Bills, Broncos, Raiders & Las Vegas

Bills

Bills HC Rex Ryan admitted that the decision to draft Clemson OLB Shaq Lawson, who is undergoing shoulder surgery, in round one rests with him and GM Doug Whaley. But Ryan also stressed that it’s a long-term move for the team.

“That’s part of the deal with Shaq,” said Ryan, via Don Banks of Sports Illustrated. “We drafted him for the long haul success, not for one season. They say me and Doug Whaley share the blame. You’re damn right we do. We’ll share the blame, that’s fine. Oh, by the way, there should be another end to [the story]. Let’s see what kind of kind of player this kid is over the long haul. And we will stand by drafting this guy.

“We never even thought we’d have Shaq Lawson on our team, so if we’re losing Shaq for five months, and then he’s going to be with us for his entire career, we’re willing to invest in that and lose the first five months to have that guy.

According to Ryan, RB Dri Archer hasn’t returned a call from the Bills since they claimed him off of waivers from the Jets.

“I never even talked to the kid, so we’ll see what happens,” Ryan told Banks. “He won’t return a call. Is it him not wanting to be a Bill, or is it something else? I don’t know, but I guess there’s a reason Pittsburgh let him go [last November]. But when you find something out, let us know, because I’ve never even talked to him.”

Broncos

  • Jason Cole of B/R reports that the Broncos are “extremely confident” in first-round QB Paxton Lynch’s ability start as a rookie.
  • Both GM John Elway and HC Gary Kubiak both believe his ability to digest their offense and make plays when things breakdown will help him be successful, even as a rookie.
  • Denver still expects there to be an earnest competition between Lynch and Mark Sanchez for the starting job.

Raiders

Influential NFL owner Robert Kraft threw his support behind the idea of the Raiders possibly relocating to Las Vegas.

I think it would be good for the NFL,” Kraft told USA Today. “I know Mark Davis has tried so hard in Oakland. If they won’t do it … I want to support him.”

Kraft explained that things have really changed in regards to the perception of having an NFL franchise located in Vegas.

“I came into the league in ’94,” said Kraft. “Back then, any exploration of that market was dismissed out of hand. I’m looking where we are today and thinking of the last 10 to 15 years, and the emergence of new media, with Google and Facebook and the like. We’re just living in a different world, technology wise. The risks in Vegas are no longer exclusive to Vegas.

“Whatever the risks,” Kraft added, “they are no greater (in Las Vegas) than playing a game in New Jersey.”