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Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Top free agents in the division: No. 13

By Jamison Hensley

Free agency officially begins March 12, so the AFC North blog is counting down the 20 best free agents (unrestricted and restricted) from the teams in the division. Let's continue with No. 13 ...

MANNY LAWSON

Bengals outside linebacker

The good: Lawson is a solid run defender who can play in the 4-3 or 3-4 defense. He is a sure tackler, missing just three all of last season. Lawson played in every game in his two seasons in Cincinnati, although there were some games in which he played less than half the snaps.

The bad: There were expectations that Lawson would boost the pass rush, but he managed 3.5 sacks in his two years with the Bengals. He also looked rigid in pass coverage, which is why he only broke up one pass last season.

The bottom line: The Bengals have enough cap room to upgrade from Lawson. He is only 28 and a former first-round pick, so he should catch on with another team.