NFC Notes: Cardinals, 49ers, Seahawks


The Cardinals didn’t get much out of CB Johnathan Joseph when they signed him late last season, as he went on injured reserve after just four games. But if he was the deciding factor on pushing former teammate J.J. Watt to sign with Arizona, then he’ll have been worth every penny. 

“Obviously I spent time in Arizona, so you know me and him had a long conversation about that. . . . I kinda had an idea all along where he was probably going to end up going,” Joseph said on SiriusXM NFL Radio. “Just from the conversation that me and him had and just knowing the situation they have there with a young team on offense that has playmakers. Defense, the same thing. Throughout his career, he’s never been able to play with someone as dominant as him on the other side so you put him with Chandler Jones.”

  • According to NFL Media’s Ian Rapoport, Watt’s deal includes a $12 million signing bonus, $2.5 million base salary in 2021 and $13.5 million in 2022 for a base value of $28 million. 
  • There are a total of $3 million in incentives — including a $1 million incentive in 2021 and a $1 million escalator in 2022 for getting 10 sacks this year. Getting 10 sacks in 2022 would be another $1 million incentive. 
  • Mike Garafolo adds that Watt receives a no-trade clause as part of the deal. 
  • Cardinals GM Steve Keim said Arizona still has some cap flexibility going into free agency to do some things. (Darren Urban)
  • Keim told reporters the start of the league year is not the deadline for WR Larry Fitzgerald to make a decision on his future. (Omar Ruiz)


New 49ers’ OC Mike McDaniel believes that being promoted was just part of the process for him and he shared some insight on the evolution of his role would take in San Francisco.

“As far as my role, with the title changing, it’s the natural evolution of you as a coach and contributing to the game plan to assist the play-caller like it’s always been,” McDaniel said, via Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area. “As an offensive coordinator, I’m going to do much of the same.”

49ers’ passing game specialist Bobby Slowik will work with McDaniel this coming season, as the two will develop an offensive gameplan for HC Kyle Shanahan who will function as the team’s play-caller.

“We’ll devise the best game plan for Kyle to call a game to put our players in the best situations to succeed,” McDaniel said. “It’s one of the reasons that Kyle Shanahan produces high-level coaches everywhere he’s gone. I can’t stress enough. It’s one of our greatest competitive edges we have going, is Kyle’s creating an atmosphere where you constantly have the opportunity to contribute. You can put forth whatever makes sense. If it’s a good idea, he’ll listen to it. If it’s a bad idea, he’ll get annoyed with you and move on with his life. But you have to earn it, and it’s something that’s always evolving.”

  • Albert Breer of SI writes that the 49ers should do everything in their power to retain LT Trent Williams, as both he and his position are extremely valuable. If they can’t, Breer surmises that GM John Lynch may end up having his hand forced into drafting a tackle with the No. 12 draft pick.


Seahawks CB Shaquill Griffin is set to potentially do very well for himself as a free agent in a couple of weeks. He hasn’t ruled out a return to Seattle where he’s thrived his first four years but made it clear he understands the business aspect of the game. 

“I would love to be back in Seattle, but I know there’s a business aspect behind it,” Griffin said in an interview on NFL Network’s Good Morning Football. “But that organization knows I love it over there — the fans and coaches know how much I love Seattle. But at the end of the day, I know it’s strictly business. I’m only 25 years old, I feel like my best ball is ahead of me. I’m excited for what’s next.”

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