For all of you that think it's a fact that the Niners let Lawson walk because he sucked, here is a little reminder as to what was going on.....
"NFL Free Agents 2011: Travis LaBoy, Manny Lawson And The 49ers OLB Position by David Fucillo on Jul 29, 2011 12:00 PM PDT in 2011 49ers Free Agents
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Yesterday evening Barrows tweeted that San Diego, Seattle and San Francisco were all interested in outside linebacker Travis LaBoy. According to Barrows the priority was in that order, although based on his tweet it's hard to tell if that means those are the order of LaBoy's interest or the order in terms of who has offered the most, or what exactly. Whatever the case, the market is developing for LaBoy.
On top of all this is the fact that there hasn't been much of anything said about Manny Lawson coming or going. LaBoy is probably the better pure pass rusher but Lawson is the more total package. If LaBoy and Manny Lawson were to talk in free agency, the 49ers could very well be left with Aldon Smith, Parys Haralson, Ahmad Brooks and Thaddeus Gibson. Beyond those three the team has brought in Monte Simmons and Kenny Rowe as undrafted free agents.
Free agency officially gets going later today at 3:00pm pacific when teams can start to physically meet with opposing team's free agents and can get them to put pen to paper. As that time approaches, do the 49ers need to add another outside linebacker to this group? Maybe a Matt Roth type of guy?
Of course, If they re-sign Manny Lawson I suppose it's a bit of a moot point. Do you see it as a necessity to get one of LaBoy or Lawson back on the roster?"
There was an NFL Lockout
We already drafted Aldon
Harlason and Brooks were under contract for 2 years on the cheap (less than 3 million Lawson got in Cincy)
Lawson felt as if he should be a starter (potential locker room problem)
There wasn't (at least at the time) a very clear distinction in talent between Lawson and Brooks.