Shaq Lawson
refer to caption
Lawson with the New York Jets in 2021
No. 90 – Buffalo Bills
Position:Defensive end
Personal information
Born: (1994-06-17) June 17, 1994 (age 28)
Central, South Carolina
Height:6 ft 3 in (1.91 m)
Weight:267 lb (121 kg)
Career information
High school:D. W. Daniel
(Central, South Carolina)
College:Clemson (2013–2015)
NFL Draft:2016 / Round: 1 / Pick: 19
Career history
 * Offseason and/or practice squad member only
Roster status:Active
Career highlights and awards
Career NFL statistics as of Week 5, 2022
Total tackles:168
Forced fumbles:6
Fumble recoveries:2
Pass deflections:13
Defensive touchdowns:1
Player stats at · PFR

Shaquille Lawson (born June 17, 1994) is an American football defensive end for the Buffalo Bills of the National Football League (NFL). He played college football at Clemson, and was drafted by the Buffalo Bills in the first round of the 2016 NFL Draft. Lawson has been on the Miami Dolphins, Houston Texans and was traded to the New York Jets during the 2021 season. Lawson was released by the Jets prior to their season finale and returned to the Bills the following offseason.

Early years

Shaquille Olajuwan Lawson, named after the basketball players Shaquille O'Neal,[1] and Hakeem Olajuwon, attended D. W. Daniel High School in Central, South Carolina. He had 99 tackles and nine sacks as a senior and 100 tackles and 13 sacks as a junior.[2] Lawson was rated by as a four-star recruit and committed to Clemson University to play college football.[3][4] After high school, Lawson attended Hargrave Military Academy for a year.

College career

In his first year at Clemson in 2013, Lawson played in all 13 games and had 35 tackles and four sacks. The four sacks tied William Perry and Ricky Sapp for most by a first-year freshman in Clemson history at the time. This record was broken in the 2016 season by Dexter Lawrence. He again played in all 13 games as a sophomore in 2014 and made one start. For the season he had 44 tackles and 3.5 sacks.[5][6] Lawson became a starter his junior year in 2015.[7][8][9]

College statistics

NCAA career statistics
Clemson Tigers
Season Team GP Defense
Tckl TfL Sck Int FF
2013 Clemson 13 30 9.5 4.0 0 0
2014 Clemson 12 34 11.5 3.5 0 0
2015 Clemson 15 59 24.5 12.5 0 1
Totals 40 123 45.5 20.0 0 1

Professional career

Pre-draft measurables
Height Weight Arm length Hand span 40-yard dash 10-yard split 20-yard split 20-yard shuttle Three-cone drill Vertical jump Broad jump
6 ft 2+58 in
(1.90 m)
269 lb
(122 kg)
32+34 in
(0.83 m)
10 in
(0.25 m)
4.70 s 1.63 s 2.75 s 4.21 s 7.16 s 33 in
(0.84 m)
10 ft 0 in
(3.05 m)
All values from NFL Combine[10]

Buffalo Bills

The Buffalo Bills selected Lawson in the first round with the 19th overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft.[11]


On May 17, 2016, Lawson underwent shoulder surgery after tweaking it during offseason drills and was ruled out 4 to 6 months.[12]

On June 6, 2016, the Buffalo Bills signed Lawson to a four-year, $10.27 million contract that includes $9.82 million guaranteed and a signing bonus of $5.67 million.[13]

On August 30, 2016, Lawson was placed on the Reserve/PUP list.[14] He was activated to the active roster on October 21, 2016.[15] Lawson recorded his first NFL sack against the New England Patriots in Week 8.

In 2017, Lawson started 10 out of 11 games played, recording 33 tackles and four sacks. He suffered an ankle injury in Week 13 and was placed on injured reserve on December 5, 2017.[16]


Lawson started the 2018 season as the backup to free-agent signing Trent Murphy, but still retained significant playing time as the Bills rotated their defensive personnel throughout games. Lawson started several games after Murphy struggled with injuries. He recorded seven tackles in a Week 9 loss to the Chicago Bears.[17] Against the Jacksonville Jaguars in Week 12, Lawson was involved in a fistfight with Jaguars running back Leonard Fournette as part of a brawl that broke out between the two teams in the third quarter. Lawson and Fournette were both ejected from the game for the scuffle, but while Lawson only received a $33,425 fine, Fournette was suspended for one game.[18] Lawson later stated he was defending himself and his teammates and that Fournette initiated the fight.[19]

Against the Miami Dolphins in Week 17, Lawson collected two sacks on Ryan Tannehill in addition to a forced fumble, making this his first career multi-sack game. He finished the 2018 season with much-improved stats, recording 30 combined tackles, four sacks, two fumbles forced, and six passes defended on the year.[20] He was also named by Pro Football Focus to their team of the week after a strong performance against the Detroit Lions in week 15.[21]


On May 1, 2019, the Bills declined the fifth-year option on Lawson's contract, making him a free agent in 2020.[22] Against the Denver Broncos in week 12, Lawson recorded two sacks on quarterback Brandon Allen after Broncos lineman Connor McGovern told Lawson he'd "never heard of him".[23] Lawson finished the season with a career-high 6.5 sacks.[24]

Miami Dolphins

On March 21, 2020, Lawson signed a three-year, $30 million contract with the Miami Dolphins.[25] He was placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list by the team on August 6, 2020,[26] and activated the next day.[27]

In Week 4 against the Seattle Seahawks, Lawson recorded his first sack as a Dolphin on Russell Wilson during the 31–23 loss.[28] In Week 9, against the Arizona Cardinals, Lawson recovered a fumble forced by teammate Emmanuel Ogbah on Kyler Murray and returned it for a 36-yard touchdown during the 34–31 victory.[29]

Houston Texans

On March 17, 2021, Lawson and a 2021 sixth-round pick were traded to the Houston Texans in exchange for Benardrick McKinney and a 2021 seventh-round pick.[30]

New York Jets

On August 29, 2021, the New York Jets traded a 2022 sixth-round pick to the Texans in exchange for Lawson.[31] He was released on January 8, 2022, right before the season finale.[32] He finished the season with 23 tackles and one sack through 14 games and seven starts.

Buffalo Bills (second stint)

On March 18, 2022, Lawson signed with the Buffalo Bills on a one-year deal. Lawson had publicly spoken about wanting to return to Buffalo since his release from the Jets.[33]

Personal life

Lawson's father was killed in a car accident during his junior year of high school. Lawson then chose to attend Clemson University to remain close to his family.[34]


  1. ^ Graham, Tim (May 2, 2016). "Originator of the oversized name, Shaquille O'Neal eager to see what Shaq Lawson can do for Bills". The Buffalo News. Archived from the original on May 3, 2016. Retrieved May 2, 2016.
  2. ^ "IM Player of the Year: Shaq Lawson".
  3. ^ "Shaq Lawson".
  4. ^ "Prep Signing Day Notebook: Lawson signs with Clemson".
  5. ^ "Clemson's Shaq Lawson ready to step into spotlight". web)): CS1 maint: url-status (link)
  6. ^ Keepfer, Scott (August 18, 2015). "Fall fun: Clemson's Shaq Lawson enjoying getting ready for his breakout season". The Greenville News. Retrieved November 14, 2020.
  7. ^ Adelson, Andrea (March 5, 2015). "Clemson's Shaq Lawson ready for bigger role". Retrieved November 14, 2020.
  8. ^ "Lawson primed to take over as next great Clemson sack-master". Post and Courier. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016.
  9. ^ "Shaq Lawson is ready for his time to shine". Archived from the original on August 20, 2015.
  10. ^ "NFL Events: Combine Player Profiles – Shaq Lawson". National Football League.
  11. ^ "NFL draft: Results, analysis for every Round 1 pick". April 29, 2016. Retrieved April 29, 2016.
  12. ^ Edholm, Eric. "Bills' first round pick Shaq Lawson undergoes shoulder surgery". Yahoo! Sports. Retrieved May 17, 2016.
  13. ^ " Shaq Lawson contract". Retrieved January 17, 2019.
  14. ^ Brown, Chris. "Reserve/PUP for Shaq Lawson; WR Little among cuts to get to 75". Archived from the original on August 29, 2017.
  15. ^ Brown, Chris (October 21, 2016). "Shaq Lawson added to active roster; to make NFL debut Sunday". Archived from the original on March 1, 2018.
  16. ^ Brown, Chris (December 5, 2017). "Lawson & Matthews to I-R; Bills elevate Capi & Reilly to active roster". Archived from the original on December 8, 2017.
  17. ^ Brown, Chris (November 6, 2018). "Stats: Increased production highlights Shaq Lawson's growth". Buffalo Bills. Retrieved December 3, 2018.
  18. ^ "Bills' Shaq Lawson fined $33,425 for fighting by the NFL". Associated Press. Chicago Daily Herald. December 1, 2018. Retrieved December 3, 2018.
  19. ^ Carruci, Vic (November 27, 2018). "Bills' Shaq Lawson says he was 'defending myself and my team' in fight with Jaguars' Leonard Fournette". The Buffalo News. Retrieved December 3, 2018.
  20. ^ "Bills' Shaq Lawson: Finishes strong". RotoWire. CBS Sports. December 30, 2018. Retrieved January 1, 2019.
  21. ^ Silagyi, Kyle (December 19, 2018). "Bills Today: Shaq Lawson named to PFF's Team of the Week". Buffalo Bills. Retrieved January 1, 2019.
  22. ^ Patra, Kevin (May 1, 2019). "Bills decline fifth-year option on DE Shaq Lawson". Retrieved November 14, 2020.
  23. ^ Polacek, Scott (November 24, 2019). "Watch Bills' Shaq Lawson Confront Broncos OL Connor McGovern After 2-Sack Game". Bleacher Report. Retrieved November 14, 2020.
  24. ^ "Shaq Lawson 2019 Game Log". Retrieved November 14, 2020.
  25. ^ Florio, Mike (March 21, 2020). "Dolphins announce deals with 10 unrestricted free agents". Pro Football Talk. NBC Sports. Retrieved November 14, 2020.
  26. ^ "Dolphins Make Roster Moves". August 6, 2020. Retrieved August 10, 2020.
  27. ^ "Dolphins Activate Godchaux, Jones, Lawson". August 7, 2020. Retrieved August 10, 2020.
  28. ^ "Seattle Seahawks at Miami Dolphins – October 4th, 2020". Retrieved October 6, 2020.
  29. ^ "Miami Dolphins at Arizona Cardinals – November 8th, 2020". Retrieved November 14, 2020.
  30. ^ "Miami Dolphins Make 2 Trades". March 17, 2021.
  31. ^ Shook, Nick (August 29, 2021). "Jets acquiring Shaq Lawson from Texans in trade". Retrieved August 29, 2021.
  32. ^ "Jets Release DE Shaq Lawson, S Sharrod Neasman; Elevate 3 for Season Finale vs. Bills". Retrieved January 8, 2022.
  33. ^ Parrino, Matt (March 17, 2022). "Jordan Phillips calls out Shaq Lawson, minutes later the two are back on Bills together". The Post-Standard. Retrieved March 17, 2022.
  34. ^ Bonnell, Rick (December 28, 2015). "Defensive end Shaq Lawson took the long ride home to Clemson stardom Lawson also covered funeral expenses for 11-year-old Ja'Naiya Scott who passed away on June 23, 2019, after being shot". The Charlotte Observer. Retrieved April 29, 2016.