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Dolphins to sign defensive end Shaq Lawson

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Miami adds another former first-round pick through free agency.

Buffalo Bills v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

Don’t worry Dolfans, general manager Chris Grier isn’t sitting out of this year’s free agency bonanza!

Just a few hours after coming to terms with former Washington Redskins guard Ereck Flowers, the Miami Dolphins are agreeing in principle to a contract with former Buffalo Bills pass rusher Shaq Lawson. Lawson’s pact mirrors Flowers’: three-years, $30 million.

Lawson, a former first-round draft pick, spent four seasons with the Bills and was somewhat of a disappointment in his first three years, that is until he ultimately broke onto the scene as a rotational edge rusher this past season. Lawson played in 15 games and started zero, yet he still managed to rack up 6.5 sacks and 18 quarterback hits. Despite the middling sack number, it’s those QB hits and substantial pressure that Lawson put on opposing quarterbacks that made him an attractive signing this offseason. The 25-year old also added 32 tackles and 13 tackles for loss to the stat sheet.

With the Dolphins badly needing help getting after the quarterback, gambling on Lawson’s potential that was flashed plenty of times this past season makes a great deal of sense. Miami currently has few exciting options when it comes to pass rushers on the roster, so expect Lawson to be just the first in a line of front-seven defenders that the team will attempt to bring in.

In Lawson and Flowers, the Dolphins have added two presumptive starters on reasonable contracts that are young and appear to be ascending. While Grier still has plenty of work to be done, it’s clear he’s will to lay down the dollars (albeit carefully) to build this roster.

For more Miami Dolphins free agency news and analysis, follow Justin Hier on Twitter @HierJustin.