NFC Notes: Sean McVay & Jared Goff, 49ers, Seahawks

Sean McVay & Jared Goff

  • ESPN’s Lindsey Thiry reports on how the relationship between Rams HC Sean McVay and QB Jared Goff fractured so much that he was traded just two seasons after signing a massive contract. She notes the cracks started to form in 2019, when the Rams’ offense struggled to replicate its success that powered them to a Super Bowl appearance the year before. 
  • Goff took a step back as his supporting cast declined. Thiry says McVay — who is an intense personality while Goff is more laid back — took a more hands-on role coaching Goff instead of filtering his feedback through the position coaches. The result was more friction building up that the two didn’t sit down together to hash out enough, per a league source: “Sean got more involved, was tougher on Jared and didn’t realize that he wasn’t building him back up.”
  • Sources added to Thiry that sideline confrontations, which aren’t uncommon in the NFL, became increasingly hostile between McVay and Goff, with McVay cussing out his quarterback and Goff feeling “crushed.”
  • In 2020, turnovers and consistency became a bigger issue for Goff. Team sources told Thiry his work ethic wasn’t an issue but his coverage recognition and decision-making held him back: “As a quarterback, you can’t lose games. We just needed him to manage it and do his part.”
  • Thiry adds that the offensive struggles ate at McVay who has a reputation as an offensive innovator. He told people around him that he felt like he had to call every play perfectly to have success with Goff, while the quarterback started to feel more and more micromanaged. 
  • McVay and Goff had different opinions on why a notable dismantling at the hands of the Dolphins happened in Week 8, with Goff blaming the gameplan and McVay blaming the execution. After another a loss a few weeks later, McVay publicly called out Goff in the locker room and in the media. 
  • Thiry relays that McVay probably started wondering about the team’s ceiling with Goff during the season. But what cemented things was when QB John Wolford came in and gave the team a lift. Wolford is a religious worker, matches McVay’s energy and gave the entire team an energy boost per a team source: “It was just kind of an opportunity for John to breathe some life into the offense with his athleticism, intelligence.” 
  • Despite the massive investment the Rams made in Goff, a source says they ultimately decided the chance to upgrade was worth taking: “Some decisions work; some don’t. We are going to take big swings.” “It’s disappointing and unfortunate the way it ended.”


  • According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, the 49ers were interested in QB Mitchell Trubisky, but when his market didn’t develop how he expected he decided to take a backup job with the Bills and hope to reset his value in a year.
  • Fowler adds the 49ers were interested in QB Andy Dalton, but he picked the Bears because he thought there was a better chance to start. San Francisco also had extensive talks with QB Joe Flacco before he signed with the Eagles. 
  • While the 49ers are in the market for a veteran backup, the Athletic’s Matt Barrows and David Lombardi think HC Kyle Shanahan sees QB Josh Rosen as a legitimate reclamation project and won’t spend a late-round pick on another similar guy. 
  • Barrows and Lombardi also list slot receiver as a need for the 49ers, mentioning WR Danny Amendola as someone who could be an option. 
  • The two expect the 49ers to potentially both sign a veteran interior offensive lineman and address the position in the draft. 
  • South Carolina CB Jaycee Horn feels he’d be a good fit for the 49ers’ defense given he’s proven successful in man-coverage and Cover 3: “It’d be a blessing to play for the 49ers. We played a lot of man, a lot of cover 3, a lot of single-high man here, so I feel like it wouldn’t be that hard of a transition.” (Matt Maiocco )
  • According to Over The Cap, the 49ers will need to save $3,906,695 in cap space to sign their draft picks this year.


  • According to ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler, the Ravens outbid the Seahawks to land G Kevin Zeitler, who signed for three years and $22 million in Baltimore.
  • Zeitler was recruited by QB Russell Wilson, a former teammate in college at Wisconsin, who told Zeitler he wanted to be in Seattle with him, per Fowler. After striking out, the Seahawks pivoted to trading for G Gabe Jackson.
  • Fowler adds that Wilson has no intention of expanding his list of teams he would waive his no-trade clause for from the four his agent mentioned.
  • Wilson wants to remain in Seattle but on the right terms. Fowler says Wilson was happy with the team’s moves in free agency, including trading for Jackson, bringing back RB Chris Carson and signing TE Gerald Everett. He’s also had a positive correspondence with HC Pete Carroll who is hearing Wilson’s frustrations. 
  • The Seahawks still need a No. 3 receiver and Fowler notes they could look at someone like Sammy Watkins, Golden Tate or Willie Snead on a one-year deal. Wilson would obviously be happy with Antonio Brown but Fowler isn’t sure if Seattle pursues that. 
  • While the Seahawks and DE Carlos Dunlap hadn’t ruled out a return the last time Fowler checked, that was before they signed Kerry Hyder and Benson Mayowa
  • According to Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times, the Seahawks plan to use Hyder in the five-technique spot along the defensive line. 
  • Condotta notes that Hyder signing still leaves the Seahawks’ LEO linebacker role open, which means Seattle could look to re-sign Dunlap.

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