Lawson has undergone arthroscopic knee surgery since the end of the regular season, USA Today reports.
This procedure is completely unrelated from the injury that delayed the start of Lawson's rookie season last fall, as that issue solely concerned his shoulder. In fact, this surgery appears to have been minor in nature considering the 2016 first-rounder isn't expected to miss any part of the Bills' offseason program.
Williams, who's lost much of the last two seasons due to scary next injuries, may be leaning towards continuing his pro career, BuffaloBills.com reports. "He's leaning toward coming back," Williams' father said in a phone interview with the Associated Press. "We'll take it slow and go from there."
Doctors have cleared Williams to play again. The Bills have all kinds of issues with their defense, including a new coaching staff coming in, but a healthy Williams would go a long way toward solidifying the secondary, as the team never found a suitable replacement once Williams went down for the season in Week 7.
Brown finished the 2016 season, his third in the NFL, with 139 tackles, one sack, one pass defensed, one forced fumble, and two fumble recoveries.
Brown has become as steady of an IDP as you'll see, as he rarely seems to get hurt and has posted 109 or more tackles in all three of his pro seasons. While the Bills have a new coach in Sean McDermott taking over and the team will shift back to the 4-3 style of play that Brown was used to as a rookie, we don't think this will hurt his tackle totals at all. Brown will likely be the middle man in the new defense and will be out there all three downs. And it's not like McDermott's last middle linebacker, Luke Kuechly, was ever hurting for tackle totals.
With the hiring of new coach Sean McDermott and the expected shift to a 4-3 defense, Lawson is likely to be used as more of a defensive end in 2017, BuffaloBills.com reports. Said Bills radio analyst Mark Kelso, "Shaq Lawson would be a defensive end in that scheme, which means he'll be defending on the line of scrimmage most of the time and not dropping into coverage."
McDermott had plenty of success as the DC in Carolina and he likes to let his linemen put pressure on the passer, so Lawson -- mostly as a linebacker in 2016 in spot duty following a midseason return from a shoulder injury -- could end up being a nice sack candidate for next season if he earns a pure starter's role. That'd be especially true if Marcell Dareus, Kyle Williams, Lorenzo Alexander, and Jerry Hughes all end up back with the Bills, as those guys would draw plenty of attention from opposing offenses.