NFC Notes: 49ers, Cardinals, Seahawks


  • Matt Barrows of The Athletic notes 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo hasn’t thrown since injuring his thumb against the Titans, with HC Kyle Shanahan saying that the doctors want to “give it the maximum amount of time to heal and kind of relatch.”
  • At this point in his career, Barrows reckons Garoppolo is worth a third-round draft pick, with injury dropping his stock this season.
  • When the 2021 season ends, Barrows thinks assistant GM Adam Peters is the most likely candidate to land a job elsewhere.
  • After a standout performance from third-round CB Ambry Thomas, Barrows thinks the team could have him compete to start next season along with CB Emmanuel Moseley and another veteran brought in via free agency.
  • Barrows adds that corner should be the top priority in free agency, while the upcoming draft should be used to target a pass-rusher.
  • Barrows would like to see that CB K’Waun Williams should be re-signed this offseason in order to return with Moseley, Thomas, Dontae Johnson, and Deommodore Lenoir.
  • The top free-agent priority already on the team, according to Barrows, is G Laken Tomlinson, who has held strongly with LT Trent Williams. Barrows notes that while G Aaron Banks may be ready to start next season, he may be able to do so on the right side of the offensive line.
  • Williams did not practice due to an elbow strain but should be ready to go in Week 18 against the Rams. (Nick Wagoner)
  • Garoppolo said his thumb was sore after throwing on Tuesday and wants to do what is best for the organization when it comes to Week 18. He still plans to test his thumb on Wednesday to see how the injury responds. (Wagoner)
  • Thomas tested positive for COVID on Tuesday but still has a chance to play on Sunday. (Wagoner)


  • According to Jason La Canfora, Clemson HC Dabo Swinneymade a push” to sign Cardinals DL coach Brentson Buckner to his staff. However, Buckner does not intend on leaving Arizona. 
  • Cardinals HC Kliff Kingsbury revealed that CB Robert Alford will likely miss at least two more weeks due to a pectoral injury. (Bob McManaman)
  • The Cardinals worked out three players on Tuesday including DE Jamal Davis, DB Money Hunter, and CB Jamal Peters. (Aaron Wilson)


Seahawks QB Russell Wilson will likely be the subject of intense offseason speculation regarding where he will play in 2022, whether it’s Seattle or elsewhere. Another layer that’s building in league circles is whether Wilson is starting to regress. Since about midway through last season, there have been some rough outings from the 33-year-old veteran. 

“I think you have to assume he is a declining player,” an exec from a team with an established quarterback said via the Athletic’s Mike Sando. “Having said that, recent history is full of examples of older quarterbacks who had a down year and came back to play incredibly well.”

Wilson’s finger injury this year is an obvious mitigating factor that could potentially mean this rough patch is an aberration. 

“Those hand injuries are tricky for a quarterback — the grip for them is like a golfer’s grip, and everything starts there,” an NFC exec said. “Mechanically, watching Wilson, I saw him short-arm the ball like he was afraid to have his hand hit something on the follow-through. [Former NFL QB Kurt Warner] got some rehab, wore a glove and looked pretty good throwing for 400 (yards) in the Super Bowl.”

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