Buffalo Bills coach Sean McDermott said the team and defensive end Shaq Lawson are "on the same page" following the Bills' decision not to pick up his fifth-year option.
"The critical piece is we've had communications with Shaq and we're on the same page," McDermott said Friday on the first day of rookie minicamp. "Doesn't necessarily mean after this year we will go our separate ways. We like the work he's put in."
Lawson now has one year left on the four-year contract he signed after the Bills made him a first-round draft pick, No. 19 overall, from Clemson in 2016. Under NFL rules, teams can choose to add a fifth season to deals for first-rounders, but the Bills are opting to allow Lawson to become a free agent after the 2019 season.
Lawson is due to earn a base salary of $1.85 million this year. Had the Bills picked up the fifth-year option, his reported salary would have jumped to around $10 million, which would have been guaranteed if he were to be injured.
Lawson has not commented on the Bills' decision. He tweeted what might have been a response the day after the deadline.
As long as God has my back, nothing else matters from this point on Guide me to stability from every aspect is all I pray 🙏🏿
— Shaq Lawson (@Shaq_Lawson90) May 6, 2019