BALTIMORE, MD - NOVEMBER 20: Linebacker Manny Lawson #99 of the Cincinnati Bengals shows his frustration after the Baltimore Ravens score a touchdown in the third quarter at M&T Bank Stadium on November 20, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Ravens won, 31-24. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
With free agency rapidly approaching, Pro Football Weekly has came out with a list of the top free agents. Three of our fellow Bengals have made the list. At number 62 is safety Reggie Nelson. Following Nelson at 63 is running back Cedric Benson. And last but certainly not least in the top 100 is outside linebacker Manny Lawson.
The Bengals have already placed their franchise tag on kicker Mike Nugent. With him in the fold, they can now turn their attention to signing Nelson, Lawson, and a replacement for the likely departed Benson. Nelson should be the Bengals top priority at this moment, they would seemingly be foolish to let him get away. With so much inexperience at the safety position and the questionable fate of veteran Chris Crocker, Nelson would be welcomed back with open arms. Linebacker Manny Lawson had a nice first season with the Bengals and it would also be beneficial to get him back. Lawson is not the guy to rack up numbers, but he helps make things happen for everyone else on the field. He does a solid job in coverage and plays the run well. He does not excel at anything, but he also does not have many holes in his game.
The running back position may be the most interesting position to watch for the Bengals in free agency and the draft. There have been some reports that the Bengals may be interested in Raiders running back Michael Bush. Other free agent backs that the team could consider are Mike Tolbert, Peyton Hillis, and the Law Firm, BenJarvus Green-Ellis. Unless there is a change of heart on both sides, Benson likely will not be back with the Bengals. The team could sign Bush and then spend a second round pick on Virginia Tech's David Wilson., Wilson would provide a nice change of pace to Bush. They could also wait for the third round and hope that Washington's Chris Polk or University of Cincinnati running back Isaiah Pead are still around.