— Buffalo Bills (@buffalobills) March 13, 2013
The Buffalo Bills made their first free agent signing Wednesday morning, inking linebacker Manny Lawson to a reported four-year contract according to Mike Garafolo
Jason Cole of Yahoo Sports reports the deal is for $12 million over four years, with $7 million coming in the first two years.
“The last 24 hours have been a blast,” Lawson said moments ago in a story published on the Bills official website. “Just talking to the guys and getting a feel for the organization. I’m happy to be here and I expect a lot of things. I think we’re going to have a lot of fun. I think we’re going to put a show on for the fans out here in Buffalo. I’m just ready to kick the season off.”
Lawson spent the past two seasons playing outside linebacker in Cincinatti’s 43 defense, playing on the strong side, the same position Nigel Bradham plays in Buffalo. Bradham may now move to the weakside as the Bills try to replace Nick Barnett, who was released earlier this offseason.
Lawson has 18 career sacks, including a career-high 6.5 with San Francisco in 2009.
This is what Pro Football Focus says about Lawson:
“Lawson saw his role in Cincinnati diminished in his final year registering fewer than 400 snaps last season with the Bengals and recording his first negative overall grade for a single season in the five years we have been grading games here at PFF. Lawson brings versatility having played in both 3-4 and 4-3 fronts in Cincinnati and San Francisco and whilst he has never excelled in either system he is a solid contributor who graded well as a run defender his first season with the Bengals. It makes a lot of sense for a Bills team expected to be implementing a multiple fronts defense.”
He was a college teammate of Bills defensive end Mario Williams at North Carolina State and both went on to become first-round picks in 2006. Williams went first overall to Houston while Lawson was selected 22nd by San Francisco.
The Bills have called a press conference for 1pm. We’ll have much more on this signing, the Bills first later today as more details become available.
The Bills are off the schnide, fans.