Report: Packers in discussions with free agent Manny Lawson

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The Green Bay Packers don’t dabble in free agency much. Their only notable transaction of the past week was the re-signing of special teamer Jarrett Bush.

But with the market cooling and price tags lowering, G.M. Ted Thompson may be poised to make some moves.

Per Ty Dunne of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the Packers have interest in free agent linebacker Manny Lawson, and the two sides “have been in discussions.”

While Lawson lacks ideal explosiveness rushing off the edge, he could be an upgrade on the likes of Erik Walden, Frank Zombo, and Brad Jones opposite Clay Matthews. As explained in our top-ten list of intriguing free agents left on the market, Lawson is an adept run-defending linebacker and excels in pass coverage.

Lawson is also the No. 60 overall player in the PFT Hot 100.

23 responses to “Report: Packers in discussions with free agent Manny Lawson

  1. While adding a competent OLB to help out Clay Matthews surely can’t hurt… there’s 3 things the Packers need to get their defense back to the #2 unit that they were in the 2010 season when they won the Superbowl.

    1. Upgrade their defensive line – Losing guys like Cullen Jenkins, veterans not stepping up their game, and young guys like Mike Neal being injury prone and suspended is not helping. We need guys who can be interior pass-rushers and clog the run.

    2. Upgrade our safety – Easier said than done. Packers were one of the best defensive units in the league when Nick Collins was on the field… he was a top 3 safety. I understand that not every team wins the Superbowl with a stud safety, but the way the Packers defense is set up, they aren’t going to be winning another Superbowl anytime soon unless they can prevent teams from completing 25-yard post-routes 10 times a game.

    3. Upgrade Cornerback – Charles Woodson, despite being a dynamic player when it comes to stopping the run and shutting down the slot-receivers, he’s getting older and only has a few years left. Tramon Williams was terrible last year, Sam Shields did not improve from his rookie season, and Jarrett Bush, god I hope he doesn’t see the field in any defensive arrangement.

    The Packers offense is just fine and even if they don’t add any players for the next few years, they’ll be a top 10 unit consistently with the guys in place. But I hope Dom Capers can do a few coaching miracles in 2012 and Ted Thompson can find some gems to plug into our secondary and defensive line.

  2. I definitely want this guy in NE, but for some reason the perfect Patriots linebacker isn’t what Bill Belichick wants.

    Apparently, if you can cover, hold the edge, and play special teams it only matters if you aren’t Manny Lawson.

  3. Man, I sure am glad the K.C. drafted Hali instead of this guy who many Chiefs fans thought was gonna dominate for years to come…

  4. Lawson may not be a huge signing, but he would be an immediate upgrade over Walden, Zombo, and Jones. He’s still pretty young, and the only knock on him seems to be his pass-rush skills (or lack thereof). I imagine it sounds intriguing for him to get to work with one of the greatest rush OLBs ever in Kevin Greene.

  5. Surprised the Eagles haven’t looked at him, would fit perfectly in their system especially after the addition of DeMeco Ryans

  6. That explosivness may not manifest itself on the field. Maybe he lacks the quick first step that most good pass rushers have.

    Come on Lawson, Clay Matthews always draws a double team so you should see plenty of single blocking for you to exploit.

  7. I liked Lawson in SF; 9ers just wanted him to be a pass rusher and that isn’t him. He was replaceable here, but not sure why Cincy isn’t resigning him…thought he was a good fit. I probably just need to read the comments…MB I’m sure.

  8. Way to go Brown, if you are going to already replace half your defensive line, why not add some linebackers in there too. I’m sure Burfect will be a good replacement for these proven veterans.

    Man it sucks to be a Bengals fan and put up with this lack of effort year after year. And some of you wonder why our stadium sits empty.

  9. As a Bengals fan, I’d like to see him back. He wasn’t great and he provides little to no pass rush (has good speed but not enough body and pass-rush ability)…. but he is good at coverage on the outside and actually played well against some decent TEs.

    Would be a good signing for the Packers…. just don’t expect him to get more than a sack a year….but do you really need him to?

  10. So he’s basically an OLB that can’t rush, but does alright against the Run & in Coverage.

    …I suppose, can’t be any worse than Walden.

  11. Hopefully Lawson will sign in Cleveland! Would be a positive upgrade for our LB corps! Then, if we sign Claiborne at #4 the defense should be good enough to keep our low-scoring, inept offense at least in most games. Trying to find a bright side!

  12. Don’t know why the Packers seem to have forgotten about Vic So’Oto. He was one of the few guys who could get close to the QB last year when he was given a chance. And he didn’t really know what he was doing then. I think that kid can be the answer, or at least part of it.

  13. Packer fans, you do not want him. He’ll make a flashy play now and then, but he’s pretty much useless. I know your defense was bad last year, but this guy probably wont help. I watched every snap he took while he was with the 49ers (and keep in mind, he played with some great players around him) and he constantly hurt the team by a missed coverage, or one of those tackles where the runner manages to fall forward for about 4 yards like it’s a game of Madden. If you want an outside pass rusher, draft one.

  14. The Packers need this guy. He fits with the Packer organization perfectly and he will be a positive guy for our team. We have seen it time and time again; guys that don’t do well at other places, come to Green Bay and thrive in the small town with the dedicated fan base, that has a humbling history of success. Who ever says this guy cannot succeed or even if its possible to say hes not talented; that person is a complete moron. The Packers need to fill three positions this off-season. They are, Center, Defensive line and line backer. Those are the must fill positions. The most over looked is defensive line, which has to be filled with some young talent. The center position has no other players in the free agency that can fill the void for the Pack if we want to improve our line. Those two positions must filled from the draft and with high picks. So if we are going to solve the outside linebacker issue, we must sign a free agent and Manny Lawson is our guy.

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