NFC Notes: 49ers, Cardinals, Seahawks


  • The Athletic’s Matt Barrows writes a quarterback competition between Trey Lance and Brock Purdy next training camp would have some perks for the 49ers, as both are on cheap rookie deals and San Francisco has a lot of players up for extensions, most notably DE Nick Bosa and WR Brandon Aiyuk.
  • But he points out there’s a lot of football left, with three games and the playoffs to evaluate Purdy further. 
  • As to what some of the 49ers’ needs could be in 2023, Barrows lists defensive end, tackle, safety and kicker depending on which pending free agents the team brings back out of the group of OT Mike McGlinchey, DE Samson Ebukam, DL Charles Omenihu, S Jimmie Ward, K Robbie Gould, DE Kerry Hyder, OT Colton McKivitz and S Tashaun Gipson.
  • 49ers HC Kyle Shanahan said WR Deebo Samuel would have a chance to return this week if the team was desperate, but will almost certainly hold him out until at least next week: “I think this week maybe there’d be a chance if we were that desperate, so I’m not even looking into it this week and we’ll see how he is next (week).” (Nick Wagoner)


Cardinals VP of player personnel Quentin Harris admitted that a long-term job opportunity isn’t at the forefront of his mind after being named co-interim general manager.

I’m just trying to do the best job in the role I’m in right now,” Harris said, via the team’s website. “You want to put your best foot forward because it is an unknown — we don’t know what’s going to happen — but I want to do my job in these last few weeks, myself and Adrian, do as much as we can to get things rolling in the right direction going into the offseason.

Cardinals owner Michael Bidwill was seen talking to players and coaches on “Hard Knocks” about people “cutting corners.” Harris said Bidwell has a right to be upset and every aspect of the team needs to be analyzed.

My reaction to that is he should be upset,” Harris said. “The fan base should be upset. We’re upset internally. When we’re not winning, we’re obviously not doing things all the way the right way. Without going into details, when we’re evaluating everyone, we evaluate everything. I’m being evaluated, the coaches are being evaluated, the players are being evaluated. It can be as little as your area being tidy, it can be as little as how you handle yourself. When we are not winning we have to change things, we have to look at every angle.

  • According to Mike Jurecki of ESPN, Cardinals HC Kliff Kingsbury wanted to fire former OL coach Sean Kugler prior to the alleged incident in Mexico City, with a source telling Jurecki: “Kugler was irritated with (Kingsbury) not running the ball more.” 


Seahawks QB Geno Smith‘s breakout 2022 season has come as a surprise to most around the NFL. It didn’t shock Smith, however, and he’s been steadfast in all of his interviews this season that he always had confidence in his abilities. That was infectious to his teammates who saw the potential back in the spring when no one else did. 

“All my friends in the offseason would be like, ‘Geno ain’t got it,’” said Seahawks TE Tyler Mabry via the Athletic’s Michael-Shawn Dugar. “I’m like, ‘Alright, you’ll see.’ Now everybody wanna be on the bandwagon like, ‘You was right, T.’ I don’t care I was right, he just been doing it.”

After leaving the Jets as a bust, Smith bounced around for a few teams as a backup, with stints behind Eli Manning with the Giants, Philip Rivers with the Chargers, and Russell Wilson in Seattle. Even though he signed to be a backup, Smith’s confidence was never shaken, and he took lessons from all those players that have served him well this season. 

“Take the job,” Smith said of his mentality as a backup. “I’ve never looked at it in any other way. I’ve never looked at myself or the game in any other way. You sell yourself short when you just go in and say you are just going to be behind a guy. I’ve learned from those guys, but I also tried to be better than them every single day.”

“I never got the sense that this was someone that was damaged and the scars were too deep and he wasn’t going to be able to overcome the setbacks with the Jets,” former Giants QB coach Mike Sullivan said. “He had a confidence about him — not a cockiness — a confidence that just comes through. A belief in oneself and his willingness to work and his preparation and his abilities. He was going to do everything possible to maximize his talent.”

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