Maybe I'm a little late on this news, but apparently the Lions are not bringing back Julian Peterson this year. As for why I have no idea. Last year was another solid year for JP, racking up 83 ToT, 6 Pass Defenses, and 1 sack. Certainly not his best year but honestly its better than any Manny Lawson has ever had! As recently as 06 and 07 in Seattle JP racked up 10 and 9.5 sacks...
Here is some career statistical comparison between the two for perspective
First Manny Lawson
Next we'll take a look at Julian Peterson
To make it as relevant as possible
Let us focus on under-achiever Manny's best season in 09. Manny made 68 tackles, had 2 PD's, 6.5 sacks and 3 FF's against JP's 2009 season of 76 tackles, 4 PD's, and 4.5 sacks with 5 FF's and 1 recovered. Unless JP has absolutely fallen off a cliff I believe we could be looking at a significant upgrade bringing Peterson back and letting Manny walk. Not only that, Julian would be an excellent, fantastic, wonderful player to bring in to help mentor and develop Aldon Smith and show him how to be a leader on the field.
I've made the case - what do you think?