49ers notebook: Lawson discusses his future

July 23, 2011, 2:47 pm
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Matt MaioccoCSNBayArea.com
Outside linebacker Manny Lawson completed his fifth season with the 49ers last year, and his contract expired without the club ever entering into talks about an extension.When the new league year begins, Lawson will be free to sign with any team. He told former teammate Michael Robinson on "The Real Robinson Report" that he would be happy anywhere free agency takes him."Man, honestly, if I had to say where I see myself . . . I just want to play. It's simple," Lawson said. "I just want to play, want to win. I'm happy wherever that is."Robinson, whom the 49ers cut during camp last year, is also a scheduled free agent after spending one year with the Seattle Seahawks. While with the 49ers, Robinson regularly conducted interviews with teammates for 49ers.com.In his recent interview with Lawson, Robinson described Aldon Smith, the 49ers' pick with the No. 7 overall pick, as a "carbon copy" of Lawson. (I'm not sure about that assessment. The 49ers envision Smith as a relentless pass-rusher. The club viewed Lawson as a player who was more valuable on first and second downs.)Robinson asked Lawson what kind of message he thought the 49ers were sending him with the selection of Smith."What they're probably doing is, you know, we're getting old," said Lawson, 27. "(He's) younger talent. Me, myself, Ahmad (Brooks) and Parys (Haralson), I think all of us together have three more years there. . . . So somebody's leaving." When the NFL returns, the inactive third quarterback will be a thing of the past.Under the new rules governing the league, the maximum regular-season roster will still consist of 53 players -- though 90 players will be allowed in training camp. But on game days, 46 players per team will be in uniform and available to play without any restrictions.In the past, teams were allowed to have 45 active players, plus a third quarterback. If the third quarterback entered a game within the first three quarters, the other two quarterbacks were ineligible to return to the game. The third quarterback could play without any restrictions in the fourth quarter.So what does this mean for the 49ers?Alex Smith is the clear favorite to win the starting job. I thought all along that Colin Kaepernick would be active as the No. 2 quarterback. That way, he could be used in specialty packages throughout a game to utilize his unique running and throwing skills.Veteran David Carr is the only other quarterback on the 49ers' roster, but his roster spot is not a sure thing. The 49ers could still add a veteran quarterback through free agency or a trade. They might also sign an undrafted rookie.If the 49ers go with another veteran quarterback on the roster, which seems likely, the 49ers might believe a player with experience would be in a better position than Kaepernick to play for long stretches. The 49ers announced that friends and family are invited to attend a memorial service for Allan Webb on Saturday, August 13, at 1:00 p.m. The service will be held at Stanford Sunken Diamond Baseball Complex at Stanford University.Webb was a pro personnel executive for the 49ers for a 13-year period that included four Super Bowl championships.In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations in memory of Allan to either:The Mills-Peninsula Hospital Foundation
Cardiology Unit
1501 Trousdale Drive
Burlingame, CA 94010 or Mercy High School Burlingame
2750 Adeline Drive
Burlingame, CA 94010.