"Shoot, I've been on the trading block I feel like," Lawson told Matthew Fairburn of The Athletic. "I've just been seeing it. Yeah, it's been a wake-up call. I've been hearing trade rumors and then I kind of realized, 'I'm a first-round pick, third year now. It's time to wake up.' I know I'm a good player. I just have to put it all together and be not just a talented player but a talented player who works hard and works on his craft and skill all together."
Lawson, the No. 19 overall pick in 2016, has earned just six sacks and 24 tackles in 21 career games. The 24-year-old ended last season on injured reserve with an ankle injury, missing the Bills' playoff run.
"Shaq is a guy that this franchise put a lot of stock in with a first-round pick [in 2016]," Beane said. "It's no secret he hasn't lived up to that. Sean [McDermott] and I are very frank. We try not to be rude, but we don't beat around the bush. We laid out the expectations for Shaq.
"I think he's done a real good job to this point. But we have a lot to go. We're off for five weeks. What's he going to do in these next five weeks? Is he going to take the next step from where he left off or is he going to regress? That's the conversation we had. I think he wants it. I think he is more focused this year than what I saw last year. The sky is the limit. The guy is talented. It's just what he makes of it and how bad he wants it. It's hard. Some of these guys don't know what it means to be a pro every day and that was part of the thing for him. I think he's now getting that. It is a big summer. Training camp will tell a lot about where his career in Buffalo is headed."
One issue for Lawson is that Beane already went out and signed his replacement, Trent Murphy. When Murphy returns healthy, Lawson will be battling simply to make the roster as a rotational player.
Beane hasn't been shy about jettisoning ex-GM Doug Whaley's players. We've seen Marcell Dareus, Sammy Watkins and Reggie Ragland shipped out in the past year. If Lawson doesn't impress in training camp, he could be the latest high draft pick booted from Buffalo.