Chicago Bears: Shaq Lawson is not a great fit
Some rumors are swirling that Shaq Lawson could be a trade candidate for the Chicago Bears. Should they consider?
The times have not been good in Buffalo for former first-round pick Shaq Lawson. Entering his third NFL season, rumors are that he might be released this summer. Word is that the Bills will field some late round offers first, but know that Lawson has limited value right now.
A player who has experience on the edge with pedigree is obviously going to spark the attention of many Bears fans, as the team has some serious questions at that spot. It has brought up a number of suggestions to trade for Lawson.
We talked earlier this summer about a rumor that the Bills would have interest in Kevin White. Is a one for one deal in place here?
The answer is that it seems unlikely. The fact of the matter is that when looking at Lawson, he may not be the best fit.
Lawson typically played in a 4-3 base front while he was in college. He played a bit in space, at Clemson, but was known more as a pass rusher than anything else. It is why it surprised some when Rex Ryan drafted him to play outside linebacker in the 3-4.
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On top of that, Lawson had a shoulder injury. This caused him to miss six games as a rookie and finish his season with two sacks. However, that season also led to the transition from Ryan to Sean McDermott. This means a shift back to the 4-3 defense.
Between trimming down to get into shape, and beefing back up, Lawson seemingly lost a step. Add in the shoulder injury and year two was not strong for Lawson either. He played in just 11 games and finished with just four sacks.
Lawson has said he is slimming down this summer to stay in shape. However, that means trimming down to a 4-3 defensive end, not back to the 3-4 outside linebacker he was once drafted to be. Watch him in the play below as he chases after Alex Smith on the edge. This is not the player that the Bears can rely on as a 3-4 outside linebacker on the edge.
Trading for Lawson means paying him first round salary this year and next year. They are paying White for this season and can get away clean from him afterward. It is likely going to take a full season to get Lawson in shape and acclimated to the new defense. It puts the team in the same spot that they were in with Kyle Fuller and now are in with White. A player who they have to decline his fifth-year option and dive into his contract year completely blindfolded.
It does not help enough this season, and with his injury history, size and scheme fit, it is a tough sell for the future as well.