For the past few weeks, the Colts pursued free agent Manny Lawson with the hope of signing the former Bengals and 49ers linebacker to help rebuild Chuck Pagano's 3-4 defense. Lawson played under Colts defensive coordinator Greg Manusky in San Francisco, and while he was not an ideal outside rush backer, Lawson is very good as a coverage backer.
Unfortunately, Lawson has decided to stay in Cincinnati. Say unfortunately because I think the Colts could have used him, but, for Lawson, staying in Cincy makes sense. He is a much better SAM backer in a 4-3 Tampa-2 scheme than he was as a rush backer in a 3-4 scheme.
Sort of the anti-Philip Wheeler.
We also got news yesterday that Chargers have "opened talks" with free agent nose tackle Antonio Garay. This might explain why the Colts haven't pursued Garay. Maybe he never intended to leave sunny San Diego and, at 32, wants to end his career there. Garay is reportedly keeping his options open, but it seems likely he stay in San Diego.
Without a nose tackle signed in free agency, look for the Colts to draft one in either the second or third round this year. It doesn't matter who falls or who doesn't. The Colts cannot leave the 2012 NFL Draft without a quality nose tackle. It's just not an option.