NFC Notes: Cardinals, 49ers, Rams


Cardinals DE J.J. Watt said that he’s glad to be at OTAs and begin forming relationships with his new teammates. 

Obviously we had the virtual meetings earlier in the offseason, but now to be in person, back on the field, it’s fun,” Watt said, via Darren Urban of the team’s official site. “It’s a blast. This is why you play the game. It’s the relationships. It’s the locker room. It’s the guys. I love it. We have a great group here and it seems like everybody knows how to work hard when it’s time to work, and knows how to have fun at the same time. I enjoyed it. It’s kind of like that first day of school. Getting back out there yesterday and today on the field was really nice.

Cardinals HC Kliff Kingsbury believes QB Kyler Murray has “mastered our system” going into his third year in the NFL. 

He’s definitely very confident right now,” Kingsbury said. “He’s mastered our system. You can see the leadership qualities continue to emerge. We’re all just really excited to have him here and watch where this thing can go with him as our leader.”

Kingsbury added that he is not concerned over OLB Chandler Jones and LB Jordan Hicks not being in attendance of OTAs.

“Everybody was here that we anticipated being here,” Kingsbury said. “We’ve had discussions with the other guys and kind of knew the situation. So no concerns there.”

  •’s Mike Kaye named the Cardinals as a potential suitor for Eagles TE Zach Ertz. He would fill a need for Arizona and give Murray another weapon. 
  • Kaye also notes the Cardinals are trying to trade Hicks, so sending him back to the Eagles for Ertz could make sense for both sides. 


49ers’ CEO Jed York said on the Rich Eisen Show that the organization still believes in Jimmy Garoppolo after drafting first-round QB Trey Lance. 

“We love Jimmy,” York said, via David Bonilla of“He got us to a Super Bowl. There’s a lot of great things to like about Jimmy, and that’s the thing when you’re looking at the quarterback position. The amount of money that a quarterback demands and it sort of takes to field someone that’s not a rookie is a lot of money, and there’s obviously a savings to having a rookie quarterback.”

York reiterated that the 49ers are comfortable going forward with both Garoppolo and Lance. 

“So, some of that savings goes to a guy that can help you get back to a Super Bowl, a guy that can play very, very well when he’s stayed healthy and has done a great job like he did in 2019 for us. I have no problem having two really, really good answers at quarterback there and allowing a young guy, who just turned 21, to get his sea legs, sort of speak, under him. I have no issue with that whatsoever.”

York believes the team showed “a lot of fortitude” last season despite finishing 6-10 given their obstacles 

“Obviously, we didn’t have the year that we wanted last year, in terms of our record,” York said. “But the things that we overcame as an organization, as a team, the injuries that we had, being kicked out of our home and going to Arizona, I think we showed a lot of fortitude. And I feel like we can compete right now whether Jimmy’s the quarterback, whether Trey’s the quarterback, whoever it is. And if Jimmy gives us the best chance to win, then Jimmy’s going to be our quarterback.”


Rams’ veteran LT Andrew Whitworth said he tried to make a “foolhardy comeback” from last year’s knee injury to play two playoff games but felt capable of continuing his career after returning. 

“I was feeling good about my season, and had an unfortunate injury, but was able to make a – I don’t know if miraculous is the word – maybe a foolhardy comeback, and try to play a little bit in the playoffs, which was really just an amazing experience,” said Whitworth, via Kevin Modesti of the OC Register. “I knew when I had that much hunger to get back on the field, that I wanted to still play football.”

Rams HC Sean McVay had high praise of Whitworth’s ability to return from his knee injury and play at a high level.

“It’s the damndest thing I’ve ever seen,” McVay said. “He had his sleeves rolled up today, looking like he just hit some (biceps) curls. I think when you look at it, his ability to even come back and play after that injury, and play at the level that he did against Seattle and Green Bay, it’s incredible. It’s a credit to who he is.”

Regarding Whitworth accepting a pay cut from $7 million to $4 million, the veteran offensive tackle said he put emotions aside in order to return. 

“It really comes down to putting emotions to the side and saying, ‘What’s important to you guys and what’s important to me?’ And let’s find a way, if we both want this to happen, to get a contract that you like and for us to be able to move forward for a year,” Whitworth said.

Whitworth mentioned that Rams’ new QB Matthew Stafford is “fired up and having fun” at practice. 

“He’s feeling good and doing great,” Whitworth said. “I think he’s fired up and having fun.”

  • According to the Athletic’s Jourdan Rodrigue, WR Cooper Kupp managed bursitis last year, but had to heal from a “degloving” in his knee.

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