On Sunday, I shared my concern whether Mike Brown would spend the $49 million the Bengals had under the salary floor. Since then, the Bengals owner has been acting like Richard Pryor in "Brewster's Millions," as if he's in a race against time to spend the team's money. Say what you will about Mike Brown's history, but thus far this season one thing is clear: he's trying to improve this football team.
Late Monday night, the Bengals reached an agreement with former San Francisco linebacker, Manny Lawson. The deal is believed to be for one year for $3 million dollars. Signing Lawson addresses a major issue at linebacker in terms of quality and depth with the injury to Keith Rivers sidelining him until at least September and Rodrick Muckelroy's season-ending Achilles injury.
Lawson was the 49'ers first round selection in 2006 out of North Carolina St. He has been a full-time starter in San Francisco with his best season coming in 2009 when he recorded 51 tackles and registered 6.5 sacks. Lawson will most likely play the "Sam" linebacker for the Bengals this season, but like Michael Johnson, he can also line up as a pass rushing defensive end.
In other news, it appears talks have cooled between the Bengals and free agent safety Donte Whitner. Safety and offensive line remain areas the Bengals would like to address before the season begins.
The Bengals also signed speedy wideout Andrew Hawkins, the younger brother of former Bengals defensive back Artrell Hawkins yesterday. The younger Hawkins is a CFL veteran who has appeared in two Grey Cups with Montreal. He's expected to compete as a return specialist with the Bengals.
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