UPDATE: From Nate Ulrich of the ABJ, who says the Browns are NOT pursuing Lawson:
"The Browns are not interested in Lawson, a league source told the Beacon Journal this morning. They have not hosted Lawson for a visit and they have not scheduled one, the source said."
According to a report by Aaron Wilson of Scout.com, the Cleveland Browns are one of several teams interested in free agent linebacker Manny Lawson, a former first-round pick at No. 22 overall by the San Francisco 49ers from the 2006 draft.
Lawson never became an "elite" linebacker with the 49ers, but he has still shown the ability to be a quality starter. If we're looking at him as a potential replacement for veteran Scott Fujita (who could become a versatile backup after ending the past two seasons on the injured reserve), then Lawson certainly has some upside. Although he hasn't registered a lot of sacks, he has been a pretty good pass rusher in his career.
Last year, Lawson signed a one-year, $3 million deal with the Cincinnati Bengals and started all 16 games during the regular season with them, registering 52 tackles and 1.5 sacks. He, like defensive end Frostee Rucker, could be brought in to help improve the Browns' run defense. The other teams reportedly interested in Lawson include Oakland, Indianapolis, Green Bay, and Cincinnati.
The Browns lacked depth at linebacker last year; after the starting group, all they really had was Kaluka Maiava. Signing Lawson would change that.