NFC Notes: Cardinals, 49ers, Rams, Seahawks


Cardinals RB Kenyan Drake is set to have another crack at unrestricted free agency this offseason. Last year, the Cardinals placed the transition tag on him, which would have allowed other teams to negotiate with him, but kept him under contract for one year and $8.48 million. It remains to be seen what Drake’s next contract looks like, as the cap shortfall from the pandemic complicates what’s already a complex situation for running backs looking to get paid, but he’s confident he’s done all he can do on the field to prove his worth. 

“At the end of the day, when you look at the numbers, the last two years I’ve had 1,000 total yards, when it comes to rushing and receiving, people are always gonna doubt what they don’t see or what you don’t prove,” Drake said via ESPN’s Josh Weinfuss. “The doubters, I mean, there are going to be people that want to see you fail, that don’t feel like you belong in a certain place. That’s not important for me to focus on because the things I focus on is the things that I can control. … The people that doubt me or doubt anybody else that is involved with how well we go out here and perform, I ask them to come out here and do the things that we do on a daily basis and see how well they do. But, other than that, you know, that’s neither here nor there, because I really don’t care about them.”


  • The Athletic’s NFL staff lists 49ers C Weston Richburg, DE Dee Ford and LB Mark Nzeocha as potential cap casualties. 
  • One complicating factor with Ford is he has an undisclosed amount of injury guarantees still in his deal and $11.6 million that guarantees on April 1, which might be tricky if he can’t pass a physical before then. 
  • They also list QB Jimmy Garoppolo as someone who could be traded or released if San Francisco lands an upgrade at quarterback. 
  • 49ers TE George Kittle said staying healthy will be one of his top goals again in 2021: “Obviously, staying on the field and being healthy is the one thing I would love to be able to do this year and I need to do.” (Chris Simms Unbuttoned podcast)


  • The Athletic’s NFL staff lists Rams RT Rob Havenstein as a potential cap casualty. Los Angeles would save $5.1 million with $3 million in dead cap by cutting him. 
  • The Rams had a virtual pre-draft meeting with Wisconsin-Whitewater OL Quinn Meinerz. (Justin Melo)


  • The Athletic’s Michael-Shawn Dugar predicts the Seahawks ultimately won’t be able to come to an agreement to keep RB Chris Carson. It would cost about $8 million to franchise tag him and that would be the floor for a long-term deal, which Dugar thinks will be too rich for the Seahawks’ taste. 
  • As far as replacements, Dugar notes the Seahawks have former first-round RB Rashaad Penny along with backups DeeJay Dallas, Travis Homer and Alex Collins.
  • They could also go back to the draft to add more competition or sign a veteran free agent like Mike Davis, Carlos Hyde, Mark Ingram, Le’Veon Bell or Tevin Coleman, per Dugar. 
  • The Athletic’s NFL staff lists Seahawks DT Jarran Reed as a potential cap casualty given his salary and his dropoff in effectiveness when he was the biggest pass-rushing threat on the defensive line. However, Seattle just signed him to an extension and is unlikely to move on.

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