NFC Notes: Cardinals, 49ers, Rams, Seahawks, Duane Brown


Cardinals HC Kliff Kingsbury expects LB Isaiah Simmons will play a key role in the defense this year.

“We have him in different spots,” Kingsbury said, via “He’ll be covering at times, so we want to continue to work that, work is pass rush stuff, work his (inside) ‘backer stuff. He’s a guy who is going to have a very important, impactful role at a number of different positions.”


Regarding 49ers’ rookie QB Trey Lance, an anonymous NFC personnel executive told Matt Lombardo of Fansided that he would sit Lance for “at least” the first half of the upcoming season because they are capable of winning with Jimmy Garoppolo

“I’d sit Trey Lance for at least the first half of the season,” said the executive, “Because you have a good situation there with (Jimmy) Garoppolo, who you can win with.”

  • Reading between the lines, the Athletic’s Matt Barrows thinks things are trending toward Garoppolo starting in Week 1 with Lance perhaps mixing in situationally.
  • 49ers HC Kyle Shanahan said this week “I’ve always had a pretty good idea” of who the starter will be and Barrows points out Shanahan has said for months Lance would have a hard time beating out Garoppolo. 
  • Garoppolo actually discussed with former Saints QB Drew Brees when he visited practice recently how he handled coming out sporadically for Taysom Hill: “It’s a thing that I wasn’t really used to, I guess you could say. Just the in-and-out part of it. So I was trying to pick his brain, how he handled that. He’d come out for a play or two and then go back in, how that all works.”


  • Rams HC Sean McVay said RB Darrell Henderson will still have a “very big role” after recently acquired RB Sony Michel: “Wanted to make sure that we got somebody else that’s played in big-time games. Darrell’s still going to have a very big role. Doesn’t really change the outlook for him.” (Andrew Siciliano)
  • McVay said DL A’Shawn Robinson is scheduled to undergo a minor procedure on his knee and is expected to return in “a couple of weeks.” (Jourdan Rodrigue)
  • McVay mentioned Rams OLB Ogbonnia Okoronkwo is still experiencing some issues related to a shoulder stinger sustained this week and indicated there could be some cause for concern. (Rodrigue)


  • CBS Sports analyst and former agent Joel Corry notes that if the Seahawks were to give LT Duane Brown a similar contract as the Rams gave LT Andrew Whitworth — another elite but aging tackle — a few years ago, adjusting for the current market would put it around $16 million a year. 
  • Corry believes that’s steeper than Seattle wants to pay for Brown and that the team would prefer to go year to year with him given his age and history of knee problems. A potential compromise would either be to add incentives to his deal this year or to build in protections in a new deal, like high per-game roster bonuses or salary de-escalators if Brown misses certain benchmarks. 
  • Ultimately, Corry says Brown’s willingness to continue his hold-in into the regular season could determine how this situation plays out. Brown held out a few years ago with the Texans, which is how he ended up being traded to the Seahawks.  
  • Per the Athletics Michael-Shawn Dugar, the Seahawks have installed a “Cheetah” package on defense as a third-down rush unit to take advantage of the depth on the defensive line. It features two of either Rasheem Green, L.J. Collier or Kerry Hyder at defensive tackle with Carlos Dunlap and Benson Mayowa at defensive end.
  • With the last two out this preseason, Darrell Taylor and Alton Robinson have been the ends. Green and Collier are technically ends on the roster but Dugar says they’ve essentially been full-time three-technique defensive tackles in the package because of how deep Seattle’s edge rushing group is. 
  • NFL Networks’ Mike Garafolo mentioned that “there has been some engagement” between the Seahawks and Brown to end his hold-in for a new contract and have him back for Week 1. (Gregg Bell)
  • Garafolo added the Seahawks weren’t necessarily going to give Brown a long-term extension but possibly find a “creative” short-term solution. (Bell)

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