Lawson signed his rookie contract Monday, BuffaloBills.com reports.
The real question is how much time Lawson's recent shoulder surgery ends up costing him during the first year of his contract. Right now, the team seems to still love the value they got in the middle of the first round, and Lawson's attitude in offseason practices seems to be impressing anyone. However, it may be awhile before we see him in action again. Manny Lawson will serve as the placeholder for Shaq Lawson's presumed starting OLB spot while the rookie continues to heal.
Watkins expects to be ready for the start of training camp July 30, TSN.ca reports. "For training camp, I think I'll definitely be available," Watkins said. "I might sit out two or three days. It's all about how I feel within those days. The goal is to come back and be prepared for training camp."
Watkins had surgery in April to address stress fractures in his left foot, with most reports suggesting he had a Jones fracture, which is a common injury that typically sidelines players for 8-12 weeks. The timetable puts him on track for training camp, and he's no longer wearing a walking boot or limping. Still, Watkins made it clear he'll take a cautious approach, even conceding that he'll need to test his foot out when the Bills open camp. Given the high rate of re-injury with foot fractures, the team may opt to be even more cautious than Watkins wants.
Hughes finished the 2015 season with 52 tackles, five sacks, four passes defensed, two forced fumbles, and one fumble recovery. He played in all 16 games for the fourth straight season, while seeing action on 92.5 percent of the defensive snaps.
Hughes picked up 67 points in standard IDP scoring after putting up 90 the previous season, and that's mostly due to the drop in sacks. If your league counts passes defensed, he closed that gap a bit. In truth, almost every member of the Bills' defensive line struggled with Rex Ryan's new system, and there's little reason Hughes can't get back to double-digit sacks in 2016 as his familiarity in a complex scheme grows. Hughes also took some dumb penalties in 2015, and it won't sit well with the coaching staff if he doesn't clean that up permanently.
Richardson has been suspended for Week 1's matchup with the Bengals after violating the NFL Personal Conduct Policy, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.
Richardson will be eligible to return to the active roster the Monday after Week 1 concludes. In January the defensive lineman pleaded guilty to resisting arrest following a road race incident that took place last July. As a Pro Bowler and former Defensive Rookie of the Year, Richardson plays an instrumental role in the Jets' hard-nosed defense but in his absence the team will likely turn to Leonard Williams and Jarvis Jenkins to carry more of a workload.
Smith (knee) is expected to begin training camp on the PUP list, making him "doubtful" to play in Week 1 against the Bengals, Rich Cimini of ESPN New York reports.
The recovery timetable for an ACL tear has dwindled in recent years, but such injuries need to be explored on a case-by-case basis. Considering Smith's rookie campaign came to a close in Week 14, it's no surprise that the final stages of his rehabilitation will extend into training camp, at least, and potentially into the regular season. Once healthy, though, he'll have a prime opportunity to succeed in a receiving corps that's unproven behind Brandon Marshall and Eric Decker.
Wilkerson (leg) is not expected to attend the Jets' offseason program, NFL.com reports.
Wilkerson, who is still rehabbing from the broken fibula he suffered in Week 17, has yet to sign his $15.7 million franchise tag, as he continues to seek a long-term deal with the Jets. While his stance on a new contract could lead the Jets to entertain trade interest in him during the draft, Wilkerson's career-best 64 tackles and 12 sacks make him one of the league's best defensive lineman, and someone New York could obviously use after losing nose tackle Damon Harrison this offseason.