East Notes: Bills, Lawson, Redskins, Patriots

Bills rookie edge rusher Shaq Lawson is likely to miss four or five games at the beginning of next season after undergoing shoulder surgery, and some have wondered if the need for an operation should have pushed Lawson down the draft board. Don Banks of Sports Illustrated spoke with head coach Rex Ryan and general manager Doug Whaley about Lawson’s injury and it’s implications for the club.

“That’s part of the deal with Shaq,” said Ryan. “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.”

Here’s more on the Bills and a few other clubs in the NFL’s two East divisions…

  • Fellow linebacker Manny Lawson isn’t related to Shaq Lawson, but he figures to get the first shot to replace the rookie in the Bills‘ starting lineup, as Joe Buscaglia of WKBW details. The WKBW scribe also dives into several other Buffalo position battles, including wide receiver — where Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods are the only roster locks — right tackle, safety, and nickel corner.
  • The Redskins are hoping that fifth-round pick Matt Ioannidis can play defensive end, defensive tackle, or nose tackle depending on the team’s package on the field, John Keim of ESPN.com writes. “He has the toughness and competitiveness and quickness to cause problems,” GM Scot McCloughan said. “He doesn’t look like Terrance Knighton, but this team will be a good team because we have a couple guys who are special and the majority will be good. He’s one of the good guys.
  • There is a lot to like about Nate Sudfeld and the only question is whether the quarterback will be on the Redskins‘ 53-man roster this year or on their practice squad, as Rich Tandler CSNMidAtlantic.com writes. To get Sudfeld on to the taxi squad, the Redskins would have to sneak the QB through waivers. But if he performs well in camp and in the preseason, he might be plucked by another team. As a result, the odds slightly favor Sudfeld making the 53-man roster. Sudfeld, an Indiana product, was taken in the sixth round with the No. 187 overall pick.
  • Reports continue to link the Raiders to Las Vegas, and the club has found another supporter — Patriots owner Robert Kraft, who tells Jarrett Bell of USA Today that he’s in favor of the Raiders leaving for Nevada. “I think it would be good for the NFL,” Kraft said. “I know Mark Davis has tried so hard in Oakland. If they won’t do it … I want to support him.”
  • The Patriots won a grievance with former tight end Jimmay Mundine, giving them a $71K salary cap credit, as Ben Volin of The Boston Globe tweets.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

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