49ers DC Steve Wilks confirmed the plan is for CB Isaiah Oliver to get the first crack at the starting nickel corner job after the team was unable to re-sign Jimmie Ward, who elected to sign with the Texans in order to move back to his natural position of safety.
“When that didn’t happen, we wanted to make sure that we sort of got the best nickel in free agency, and that’s what we went out and did,” Wilks said via the Athletic’s Matt Barrows. “So I’m excited about Oliver. He’s long, he’s physical, can tackle, can cover. He’s going to be a good blitzer for us, everything that we do within this defense.”
- Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer writes Cardinals WR DeAndre Hopkins seems intent on making the $19.45 million he’s currently due from Arizona, so another team would have to be willing to take on that amount in a trade. At this point, that seems unlikely.
- According to Over The Cap, if the Cardinals released Hopkins after June 1, they would save $19.45 million in cap space in 2023 with $10.538 million in remaining dead money charges in both 2023 and 2024.
- Breer adds he’s doubtful the Cardinals trade S Budda Baker.
Rams CB Cobie Durant says the team’s depth chart in the secondary is exactly as wide-open as it looks to outside observers following the departure of CB Jalen Ramsey and others. There are five starting spots open and they could go to pretty much anyone on the roster right now. Fourth-year S Jordan Fuller is the veteran of the group and in the best position, and after that it’s a cage match between Durant, CB Robert Rochell, CB Derion Kendrick, S Russ Yeast, S Quentin Lake, CB Shaun Jolly and a host of late-round rookies and UDFAs.
“Yeah, it’s a goal for everybody on the backend,” Durant said via USA Today’s Cameron DaSilva. “I feel like all positions is open and they’re gonna play the best. Going through OTAs and walk into a training camp, wherever the coaches want us to play, we’ll play. Everybody knows every position, so it’s good.”
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