NFC Notes: 49ers, Cardinals, Rams


  • According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, 49ers DC DeMeco Ryans withdrew from the Vikings HC search because he didn’t want to rush his way into a head coaching job before he is ready.
  • According to Solomon Wilcots, 49ers TE coach and assistant head coach Jon Embree was asked to take a 60 percent pay cut, despite the team reaching the NFC Championship game.
  • Embree will not be back in 2022 after spending the past five seasons with the team. (Eric Branch)
  • 49ers HC Kyle Shanahan‘s directive for QB Trey Lance this offseason is to take off a couple of weeks, isolate on his throwing motion while working on his own in southern California, keep in touch with the staff and be ready to dive into the X’s and O’s when he comes back for OTAs. (Cam Inman)
  • Shanahan admitted the team almost turned to Lance as the starter for the season when the team was 3-5. (Matt Barrows)
  • Shanahan praised Ryans’ work with the defense and believes he will be a head coach soon: “DeMeco is going to be a head coach… he’s only going to get stronger every year regardless of what he’s coaching.” (Nick Wagoner)
  • Shanahan said passing game specialist Bobby Slowik is an offensive coordinator option if OC Mike McDaniel gets a HC job. (Barrows)
  • Both Lynch and Shanahan acknowledged it’s possible they don’t trade QB Jimmy Garoppolo, though obviously that’s unlikely. (Eric Branch)
  • Garoppolo said he understands where he and the team stand: “(Draft) made things clear for me, honestly. Gave me clear course on what I wanted to accomplish this year. Made things simpler this year. Weight off shoulders, let’s go play football and enjoy this last year with the guys. I thought it worked out pretty well.” (Inman)
  • Garoppolo thanked the reporters for being named the “Good Guy” by the media: “You guys have been a fun group to work with. It’s been a fun four years.” (Barrows)
  • Garoppolo wants to play for a winner, but added he will “never close any door completely” on staying in San Francisco. (Wagoner)
  • Garoppolo added he mentally prepared himself for the end: “I knew this would happen eventually. Never can be totally prepared for moments like this. It’s weird, you make all these great relationships, then it comes to a halt. But that’s life. You have to enjoy the moment.” (Inman)
  • Garoppolo is looking forward to what Lance can do as a starter: “It’s been fun with Trey. He’s a good dude, down to earth, normal dude. If he came and acted different, things could have been tough. But he’s a cool dude. Excited for him. He’s a talented young guy. Future is bright for him.” (Inman)
  • On his thumb, Garoppolo said he wants to avoid surgery but may need it after how much he used it lately. (Barrows)
  • Garoppolo mentioned his thumb injury impacted his play: “I think you could tell through the throws.” (Branch)


  • The Cardinals hosted former Falcons OT Matt Gono for a visit on Wednesday. (Aaron Wilson)


Exactly a year to the date of the trade being agreed to that would send him from Detroit to Los Angeles, Rams QB Matthew Stafford was celebrating booking his trip to the Super Bowl. That deal that dumped former QB Jared Goff was the first of a series of hyper-aggressive moves in an all-in approach that seems to have paid off for the Rams. 

“I mean, it’s two weeks after the season, and it’s totally unexpected,” Rams COO Kevin Demoff said via NBC Sports’ Peter King. “We’re trading the quarterback who led us to the Super Bowl, the face of our franchise, the first big decision we made after our move to L.A. That night, it started the all-in narrative for us.”

However, Demoff said he would push back against anyone characterizing the Rams as the most YOLO franchise in football, pointing out how many late-round picks the Rams make and how many of those guys become key contributors. 

“We’ve had the second-most draft choices in the league since Sean took over as coach,” Demoff said. “We just haven’t had them in the first round. We draft [Penn State safety] Nick Scott in the seventh round in 2019 as mostly a special teams player. When we draft guys in lower rounds, the goal is not to have them come in right away and play; it’s to train them so at some point they’re more than special-teams guys — they’ve got a chance to be key players.”

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