Sometimes a team not picking up a player’s fifth-year option is a signal for the beginning of the end for a former first-round pick. Other times, the player uses it as motivation and comes back with a strong performance in a contract year. That’s what happened with Bills DE Shaq Lawson, who had a career-high 6.5 sacks in 2019 and is now among a number of strong candidates for the Bills to re-sign.
“We didn’t pick up his option, and that can go one of two ways. He can sulk, and you know, ‘I’m out of here,’ or anything like that,” Bills GM Brandon Beane said via the Athletic’s Joe Buscaglia. “Shaq took it in stride and we challenged him and told him, ‘Listen, Shaq, us not picking up your option has nothing to do with us wanting you here. It’s just where we are at this time. We would love for you to have a great year and sign you to a long term.’ So, we were very happy with Shaq, and we’ll obviously talk to his representatives.”
- Buscaglia writes the Bills will likely let DT Jordan Phillips see what he can get on the open market and he doesn’t anticipate him returning to Buffalo.
- Buscaglia also expects the Bills to let G Quinton Spain test the open market before potentially bringing him back if they need help at guard.
- Buscaglia lists CB Kevin Johnson, S Dean Marlowe, LB Julian Stanford, OT LaAdrian Waddle and RB Senorise Perry as players the Bills should re-sign.
- Bills DT Ed Oliver had surgery and suggested he dealt with the issue for most of his rookie year after Buffalo took him in the first round. (Twitter)
- Oliver’s surgery was to repair a core muscle issue. (Vic Carucci)
Colts CB Quincy Wilson fought back from being buried on the depth chart early in the season to play a major role in an upset of the Chiefs. Then Wilson went back to the bottom with little explanation. Even when injuries started to pick away at Indianapolis’ secondary depth, the former second-round pick still had a hard time getting onto the field in his third season. Publicly and privately the Colts insisted it wasn’t a behavioral or attitude issue with Wilson, it was just a football decision.
“His role early in the season was good,” Colts GM Chris Ballard said via the Athletic’s Stephen Holder. “Then, we got healthy all the way through at all of the positions. We had five safeties we were dressing and four corners, and then a lot of it came down to special teams. Quincy’s not a core player on teams. Then you add (Rolan Milligan), who plays on teams, you add (Clayton Geathers), who plays on teams, you have George Odum, who plays on teams, you had Marvell Tell ascend, who plays on special teams. …If you’re not in that starting three at corner, (special teams) ends up taking precedent.”
Wilson is still with the team despite some trade rumors. Ballard said he highlighted confidence and mindset for Wilson in his exit interview, and Wilson said he’s focused on putting it all together in 2020 with the Colts.
“I’m under contract,” Wilson said. “I’ll be here. I’m a Colt. At the end of the day, I know who I am and I have to attack this offseason and prepare the way I did last year and see how the chips fall.”
- Pro Football Network’s Tony Pauline mentions the Colts as a potential landing spot for Broncos DT Shelby Harris if he doesn’t re-sign in Denver.
Texans RB Carlos Hyde has been shuttled around the league like a hot potato — signing with the Browns in 2018 before being dealt to Jacksonville midseason, then signing with the Chiefs and getting traded again — finally landing in Houston. After leading the Texans with a career-high 1,070 yards rushing, Hyde isn’t looking to go anywhere else in free agency this offseason.
“Yes, I definitely want to be back here,” Hyde said via the Houston Chronicle’s Aaron Wilson. “I don’t want to go to another team and start all over again. I felt like Houston was home. I think I handled my part. I’ve just got to let things play out in the offseason and see what happens.”