NFC Notes: Cardinals, 49ers, Rams

     

Cardinals

Cardinals RB Kenyan Drake said the organization must prove they can win after being labeled among the most-improved teams over the 2020 offseason. 

I feel like the game is never won on paper; it’s always won on the field,” Drake said, via Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic. When you’re out there playing a game and you have these expectations, you can’t let those things really dictate what you do. When you’re playing a game, that’s the only thing that you can do is go out there and be who you are. We appreciate the expectations, but at the end of the day, it’s all about going out there and playing the game itself.

49ers

49ers DE Dee Ford said he is “feeling great” after recovering from a knee injury he sustained last season and was surprised to play in as many games as he did. 

“Man, I’m feeling great right now,” Ford said, via Matt Barrows of The Athletic. “I’m able to actually explode off of this knee. Man, thinking back on it, I can’t believe I played a whole season on it.”

Ford said the condition of his knee feels “like night and day” compared to last year. 

“Any time you’re dealing with a chronic issue, you’re always on the clock,” Ford said. “If I’m able to play I’m gonna play. I know exactly how I felt last year. Doing the things I’m doing now — it’s like night and day.”

Ford mentioned that he predominantly lined up as a “decoy” in the 49ers’ defense last season due to his knee issue. 

“Because we were definitely gonna be in the postseason,” Ford said. “So I had to forget about how I felt and just move forward. It was tough, but it was just what we had to do.”

  • Over The Cap’s Jason Fitzgerald writes that while 49ers TE George Kittle‘s agent will likely want to have him paid like a receiver, it will be extraordinarily difficult to hit that bar. 
  • Fitzgerald believes it’s much more likely Kittle signs for around $11-$12 million per season rather than $16 million like the second tier of top receivers. 
  • He points out it would cost approximately $11 million and $13.2 million to use the franchise tag on Kittle twice, which serves as a baseline for negotiations, and even an increase of 20 percent of the current high mark for tight ends would put Kittle at around $12.8 million a season. 

Rams

  • ESPN’s Field Yates points out the Falcons will gain $5.5 million in cap space going forward for the post-June 1 release of RB Todd Gurley.
  • The Rams currently have just $569,169 of available cap room to work with, according to OverTheCap.com.
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