NFC Notes: Cardinals, 49ers, Seahawks



The Cardinals’ offensive line was pegged as a problem area by many analysts entering this offseason, as QB Kyler Murray was sacked a league-high 48 times. But Arizona elected not to make many changes to the unit, foregoing the top offensive tackles in the first round and electing not to re-sign 2019 starting C A.Q. Shipley. Arizona should get back RT Marcus Gilbert, but Murray might actually have the biggest impact on his pass protection improving, as he explains, “Last year, a lot of those sacks I feel were on me.”

“I don’t think I’ll be putting those guys in that situation too many times anymore,” Murray added via USA Today’s Jess Root. “If it happens, it happens, but I think we’ll be a lot better just from experience.”


  • If the 49ers are in a cap crunch in 2021 because of decreases in NFL revenue, the Athletic’s David Lombardi mentions G Laken Tomlinson as a potential cap casualty. 
  • Despite the sizable dead money hit, Lombardi adds if the cap stagnates, the 49ers might be forced to release LB Kwon Alexander
  • Cutting 49ers DE Dee Ford is another option to free up salary space, per Lombardi, but the other side of that is San Francisco would need to invest a high draft pick or a comparable amount of money to replace him. 
  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer says it’s fair to question if 2020 is a make-or-break season for 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo given the team flirted with the idea of signing QB Tom Brady
  • However, Breer points out 49ers GM John Lynch and HC Kyle Shanahan came out with a renewed belief in Garoppolo as their long-term answer at the position. 


For most coaches, this offseason has been less than ideal, to put it mildly. Amidst the pandemic, teams haven’t been able to get their team out on a practice field together and instead have been forced to try and replicate OTAs virtually as much as possible. They also have had to still attempt to plan despite the uncertainty surrounding the 2020 season and respond to the societal issues surrounding race that have roiled the country. But Seahawks HC Pete Carroll, one of the most notorious optimists in the NFL, thinks Seattle knocked this offseason out of the park. 

“We killed it during the offseason in a way I couldn’t envision it going as well as it did,” Carroll said via USA Today’s Doug Farrar. “It went great, and we accomplished a lot, and we’re smarter than we’ve ever been. The transition we make now will be huge. Who would have thought that we could come out of the offseason and say that this was an extraordinary offseason – learning and teaching and concepts, and then all of the social stuff and personal stuff we dealt with has been so challenging, but necessary. Hopefully, we’re really going to make a turn here that’s extraordinary. There’s so much happening, even though we’ve been sitting at home! It’s just amazing.”

  • Per John Boyle of the team website, Carroll is aware of QB Russell Wilson‘s desire to open up the passing offense and run more of a two-minute style of offense: “He mentioned that to me, too. Yeah, we’ve been talking about that for years. We’ve been in and out of tempo throughout. So you’ll see what happens.”
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