Manny Lawson

NFL Suspends Manny Lawson Two Games

The NFL has handed free agent linebacker Manny Lawson a two-game suspension, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN. There’s no official word yet on why the league disciplined Lawson, but Tim Graham of the Buffalo News reported a month ago that he was facing a one-game ban over a domestic violence incident. Lawson’s agents denied that was the case, though, and Lawson then said that he vowed to “get to the bottom of it.” Publicly, nothing has since come of Lawson’s declaration.

Manny Lawson (vertical)

Perhaps thanks in part to his off-field issues, the Bills surprisingly released Lawson as they whittled their roster down to 53 players in advance of Week 1, thereby ending his tenure in Buffalo after three years. Lawson started in 14 of 16 appearances last season, amassing 47 tackles, a sack and interception. All told, in 47 of a possible 48 appearances as a Bill, he logged 29 starts, 6.5 sacks and two picks.

Lawson, 32, hasn’t missed more than two games in a season since 2007, but that streak will end this year. Even if the former 49er and Bengal catches on elsewhere, he has already missed Week 1, and a suspension will keep him off the field until at least Week 4. Given Lawson’s on-field track record (110 starts, 24.5 sacks), the 2006 first-round pick from North Carolina State could end up with a team later this season, though clubs aren’t exactly champing at the bit to sign players fresh off domestic violence incidents.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bills Trim Roster To 53

The Bills announced that they’ve moved their roster to 53 players by cutting 21 players. That list of cuts includes notable names like fullback Jerome Felton, linebacker Manny Lawson, versatile cornerback Sterling Moore, and linebacker Randell Johnson."<strong

The Bills will save $2.35MM against the cap by releasing Lawson and $1.55MM by cutting Felton. By freeing up that cash, the Bills will have a little more room to work with as they negotiate a new deal with cornerback Stephon Gilmore.

Felton was signed as a free agent last offseason to a four-year pact worth $9.2MM, with $4MM guaranteed. Considering how the fullback position has been phased out by many NFL teams, that was a steep price to pay for the former Viking. With Minnesota, Felton acted as the lead blocker for Adrian Peterson‘s 2012 MVP campaign, paving the way for Peterson to nearly break the all-time rushing record. Felton himself went to the Pro Bowl that season, and was named second-team All Pro. The team is saving money by dropping the 30-year-old, but his release is also a sign of their confidence in Glenn Gronkowski.

Over the last three seasons, Lawson has appeared in all but one regular season game for the Bills. In 2015, Lawson appeared in every contest and started 14 games, racking up 45 tackles, 1 sack, and 5 pass deflections. Lawson is facing a one-game ban as a result of a domestic violence incident and that was thought to be a big blow in the season opener considering that the team will also be without top rookies Reggie Ragland and Shaq Lawson plus reserve linebacker IK Enemkpali. For one reason or another, the Bills have decided that they are better off without him.

Moore, 26, came over from Tampa Bay during the offseason, and has also spent time with the Patriots, Cowboys, and Raiders. Johnson, meanwhile, has been with Buffalo for the past two seasons, starting one game during that time.

Here is the complete list of cuts:

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Latest On Bills’ Manny Lawson

On Tuesday, the Bills got a double whammy of bad news when it was learned that defensive tackle Marcell Dareus was hit with a four-game suspension and defensive end Manny Lawson has a looming one-game ban for an alleged domestic violence incident. After a repeat violation of the league’s substance abuse policy, Dareus’ suspension is rather cut-and-dry. That’s not quite the case with Lawson, however, who says he is not sure why he is being suspended by the league. 

[RELATED: Bills Still On Hook For Marcell Dareus’ Guarantees?]

On Wednesday, Lawson told reporters (including Mike Rodak of that he doesn’t know where the suspension is coming from. Lawson vowed to “get to the bottom of it,” though he has not heard back from the league office as of this writing.

We should know more about the allegations against Lawson in the coming days. As with most punishments, the NFLPA can be expected to fight back against the league office and, if it is truly without merit like the linebacker says, it’s possible that his suspension could be overturned.

Over the last three seasons, Lawson has appeared in all but one regular season game for the Bills. In 2015, Lawson appeared in every contest and started 14 games, racking up 45 tackles, 1 sack, and 5 pass deflections.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images

East Notes: Bills, Lawson, Jets, Eagles, Dawkins

The Bills already lost one of their best defenders earlier today when the league announced a four-game suspension for defensive tackle Marcell Dareus, and now defensive end Manny Lawson may also be absent for a contest, as Tim Graham of the Buffalo News reports (Twitter links) that Lawson is facing a one-game ban as a result of a domestic violence incident. Lawson’s agents, Schwartz & Feinsod, deny that Lawson has ever been involved in any such episode (Twitter link). Lawson can still appeal the suspension, per Graham, but if he loses, he’ll be yet another key Buffalo defensive player that will be sidelined. In addition to Lawson and Dareus, the Bills have now lost Reggie Ragland, Shaq Lawson, and IK Enemkpali for varying amounts of time.

Here’s more from the NFL’s two East divisions:

  • With suspensions for Karlos Williams, Dareus, and now potentially Lawson, the Bills will now be forced to pay a fine based on the NFL’s remittance policy, Adam Schefter of tweets. As explained by Schefter in 2013, the policy forces clubs to pay a portion of the forfeited money that the banned player is missing out on. Buffalo could have to remit 25% of Dareus’ forfeiture (with a max of $200K) and 33% of Lawson’s forfeiture (with a max of $350K).
  • Wide receiver Jalin Marshall is among the unheralded players that have played their way on to the Jets‘ roster bubble in recent weeks, Brian Costello of the New York Post writes. An undrafted free agent out of Ohio State, Marshall has been the breakout star of camp. On Thursday night against the Jags, Marshall returned a kick 84 yards and set Gang Green up for a touchdown. At this point, Costello seems to think that Marshall is a virtual lock for the roster, unless something goes wrong. For a full view of the Jets’ depth chart, check out their page on Roster Resource.
  • Brian Dawkins is headed back to Philadelphia, as the Eagles have hired the former safety as a football operations executive, according to Dave Zangaro of Dawkins originally joined the club’s scouting department two weeks ago as part of a fellowship program, and will now be joining the front office in a full-time capacity.
  • The Cowboys are working out former Alabama wide receiver Richard Mullaney, Todd Archer of tweets. Mullaney was originally signed earlier this year by the Texans as an undrafted free agent, but was waived last month.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

AFC Notes: Vilma, Gronkowski, Manziel, Bills

Joe Philbin and Dennis Allen are among several coaches who have a lot riding on the 2014 season, writes Lorenzo Reyes of USA Today. While the “hot seat” label may be premature, the Dolphins would surely like to see improvement both off-the-field (in the wake of the Jonathan Martin scandal) and on it, with quarterback Ryan Tannehill potentially taking another step forward. The Raiders, meanwhile, used their ample cap space to infuse their roster with veterans, and the team’s leadership obviously hopes Allen can improve upon 2013’s 4-12 record.

More from around the AFC:

  • Free agent linebacker Jonathan Vilma reached out to the Dolphins, but Miami was not interested in adding the veteran, reports Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Vilma played only 12 snaps in 2013 following a knee injury.
  • Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski is reportedly “progressing well” following his January surgery to repair his torn ACL and MCL, according to Ben Volin of the Boston Herald.
  • Browns offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan worked with Robert Griffin III in Washington, and he believes RG3 and new Browns quarterback Johnny Manziel have some common traits, per Jim Corbett of USA Today. “Johnny and Robert are very similar,” said Shanahan. “They’re both talented guys who can make plays with their legs. But there comes a time in the NFL when they’re going to keep you in the pocket, and you’re going to have to have that ability to make the throws with your arm and mind. And Johnny, just like Robert, has that arm talent and intelligence to do that.”
  • While Jerry Hughes won’t have a problem finding a role in new Bills defensive coordinator Jim Schwartz’s scheme, fellow pass-rusher Manny Lawson might, writes’s Mike Rodak. Lawson spent most of last season close to the line of scrimmage as a stand-up linebacker, and that position simply doesn’t exist in Schwartz’s defense.
  • Ravens cornerback Lardarius Webb is happy with the development of 2013 first-round safety Matt Elam, according to Matt Zenitz of the Carroll County Times. “From last year to this year, I see a big jump with his leadership, with him controlling the back end and just being that safety controlling the calls,” said Webb. “I just really like where I see him going.”
  • The Broncos’ defensive line is heavy on both depth and competition, writes Jeff Legwold of, and improved line play will be essential if Denver hopes to create opportunities for edge rushers Von Miller and DeMarcus Ware.

AFC Links: Bills, Jets, Colts, Jaguars

Earlier, we took a look at what ESPN’s NFC writers had to say on this Memorial Day. Now, let’s focus on ESPN’s AFC writers…