- Jamison Hensley, ESPN Staff Writer
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The Bengals officially announced they have re-signed outside linebacker Manny Lawson. It is believed to be a one-year deal with Cincinnati, which had confirmed an agreement with Lawson this week.
In his first season with the Bengals, he finished fifth in tackles with 78. A first-round draft pick by the 49ers in 2006, Lawson signed with the Bengals in 2011 less than a week into training camp and started 15 games for them.
As I noted in a previous blog, Lawson missed just two tackles against the run, and did not have a penalty called against him all season, according to Pro Football Focus. What also stands out is his play against the top two teams in the division. Lawson averaged 9.5 tackles in games against the Ravens and Steelers.
“Manny was a big part of our success last season, and I look for him to take his game to a higher level this year,” Bengals defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer said in a statement. “He moved to essentially a different position with us, playing outside in a 4-3 (scheme) after being in a 3-4, and he kept getting better as the year went on. He was very good against the run and in coverage, and this year I think we can take better advantage of him as a pass-rusher.”
Lawson's impact in the pass rush has been minimal recently. After recording a career-high 6.5 sacks in 2009, he has totaled four over the past two seasons.