Originally posted by backontop:
it seems like everyone is confused on Lawson's strengths. He is not the guy that will get 10+ sacks a season. He is the guy that will get around 5 while creating some pressure, setting the edge and covering the TE. He is very valuable to this team and letting him go will be a huge mistake.
Yes he is valueable, but not as much as you think IMO. I'm not confused on his strengths, I know what they are and what they are NOT. And what they aren't is pass rushing. Even your claim of "get around 5 sacks" is a little over blown. More likely is he'll get around 2-3 sacks.
And that IS the problem. He is an OLB playing in a 3-4 defense that MUST have production from it's OLB. And when I say production, I mean SACKS. Not pressures, SACKS! Lawson is just not that kind of guy. I think he'd be outstanding playing in a Tampa 2 style 4-3. He's outstanding against the run and above avg playing in space against the pass. He just hasn't turned into the pass rusher we all wanted him to be, plain and simple.
Look, I like Lawson as much as the next guy. But when Manusky has him benched during obvious passing downs, that should tell you something. The dude has never been and will never be the kind of pass rusher that can excel in a 3-4 defense.