NFC Notes: 49ers, DeAndre Hopkins, Cardinals, Rams


  • The Athletic’s Matt Barrows writes that right guard has been a spot the 49ers have pinched pennies at under GM John Lynch and HC Kyle Shanahan and that will be the case again in 2022. Former UDFA OL Daniel Brunskill is probably the favorite to start there, although he’ll be pushed by 2021 fifth-round OL Jaylon Moore
  • If Moore wins the job, Barrows notes San Francisco could push Brunskill inside to center, where former UDFA Jake Brendel took all of the first-team reps during the spring and is the current favorite to start. 
  • Another competition Barrows is watching is at nickel corner, where veteran Darqueze Dennard is trying to hold off fifth-round rookie Samuel Womack. Barrows adds the competition all around at cornerback is going to be fierce, as the 49ers have 11 players at a position they usually only keep five or six. 
  • Barrows says 49ers DE Samson Ebukam needs to distinguish himself in a crowded defensive end group that added Kemoko Turay and second-round rookie Drake Jackson as speed rushers. Otherwise the potential $6.5 million in cap savings if he’s cut could look appealing to a San Francisco team trying to budget for other big-money extensions. 
  • PFF’s Brad Spielberger points out 49ers WR Deebo Samuel is represented by the same agent who represents Seahawks WR D.K. Metcalf and Eagles WR A.J. Brown. Brown signed a four-year, $100 million deal with Philadelphia and Spielberger expects Metcalf and Samuel to get similar deals. 
  • Spielberger projects Samuel in the range of four years, $105 million with $62.5 million guaranteed and an average annual salary of $26.25 million. 


The NFLPA released a statement regarding the suspension of Cardinals WR DeAndre Hopkins, taking issue with the NFL saying Hopkins tested positive for a masking agent.

“On May 2, 2022, the NFL Network reported that DeAndre Hopkins’ suspension came after producing a positive test result for a ‘prohibited substance plus a diuretic or masking agent/attempt to substitute, dilute or adulterate a specimen/attempt to manipulate a test result’. This reporting is incorrect as Hopkins never tested positive for any diuretic or masking agent and there was absolutely no evidence of any attempt to substitute, dilute or adulterate any specimen or any attempt to manipulate a test. Pursuant to the 2022 policy, his discipline is consistent with producing a positive test result for a prohibited substance.” 

Hopkins remains suspended for the first six games of the season and there are no indications there is any kind of appeal process in the works.

  • PFF’s Brad Spielberger projects what a potential extension for Cardinals QB Kyler Murray could look like: six years, $280 million, $155 million guaranteed and an average annual value of $46.67 million per year.  


Rams LB Bobby Wagner was released by the only other team he has played for professionally and looks fondly on his time with the Seahawks. 

“Obviously there are still feelings there [about being released],” Wagner said, via “But at the end of the day, I have a different perspective. My opinion on it would have been different if I had ended up somewhere else. But to have the opportunity to go home and play not far from my family. Like I haven’t played this close to my family since high school. I didn’t want to leave Seattle. But if I was going to leave Seattle, home was the next-best thing for me and so being able to be home, like I’m at peace with the situation. But still, any competitor is looking forward to going back to the place that you played that they felt like you didn’t have anything left and proving them wrong.”

“I think that I’m in a better position to make plays and I think I’m going to have more opportunities to do some of the things that I was doing early on in my career,” Wagner added. “So I think I’m going to surprise everybody but myself. I just kind of wanted to show the city that had loved me for 10 years some love before I left and kind of let them know that although I’m not playing for the Seahawks that I am not removing myself from this community. I’m always going to be a part of this community.”

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