NFC West Notes: 49ers, Rams, Seahawks

     

49ers

  • Over The Cap’s Jason Fitzgerald has the 49ers ranked in the bottom tier in his cap health index for 2021, which measures a team’s estimated cap space, cap flexibility and pending free agents. 
  • The Athletic’s Matt Barrows writes that along with the typical Year 2 jump for passers in HC Kyle Shanahan‘s system, 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo could benefit from having RB Jerick McKinnon and WR Trent Taylor healthy, as a pass-catching back and shifty slot receiver would play well to his strengths. 
  • Barrows thinks 49ers LB Kwon Alexander wins the weakside starting linebacker job ahead of Dre Greenlaw, but it might be just for 2020 given Alexander’s $16.5 million cap hit in 2021. 
  • 49ers UDFA DT Darrion Daniels has a strong chance to make the team, per Barrows, due to his size, the lack of many true nose tackles on the team, San Francisco’s willingness to carry a large number of defensive linemen on the final roster and his $105,000 in guarantees. 

Rams

New Rams DC Brandon Staley believes there’s still a lot of potential the team can unlock with CB Jalen Ramsey. Not only can Los Angeles line up Ramsey to take away the opponent’s No. 1 receiver, but Staley thinks Ramsey can move into the slot, lock down tight ends if they’re giving the Rams issues and even play safety. 

“He’s got command of all the positions in the defensive backfield,” Staley said via the Athletic’s Jourdan Rodrigue. “You know, I do not look at him just as a corner. I look at him as a (defensive back). This guy can do anything. He thinks like a quarterback. This game means a lot to him. His craft, his focus, his commitment … I couldn’t be more impressed with this guy.”

Ramsey confirmed to reporters on Tuesday he’s not planning to hold out for a new deal during training camp. He’s playing out the fifth-year option on his contract, however, and holds massive leverage in contract talks with the Rams. Los Angeles surrendered two first-round picks for Ramsey at the trade deadline last year and Ramsey could massively reset a stagnant cornerback market, even pushing $20 million a year. 

“The Rams know where I stand and that’s all that matters at the end of the day,” Ramsey said via NFL Network’s Steve Wyche. “It will get handled. They have been in contact with my agent. They are on the same page. They know what’s up. I know what’s up. I’m going to let them handle that. I can’t worry about that. I can control what I can control. Everybody knew what type of situation it was going to be once they traded for me. It doesn’t need to be talked about that much. It will get handled. I will let then handle the business side of it. I will focus on football.”

  • Ramsey was completely on board with Staley’s plan to utilize him: “I’m very excited about the way I’m going to be utilized in this defense. I’ll leave it at that. I think my talents will be shown thoroughly.” (Rodrigue)
  • Regarding a contract extension, Rams HC Sean McVay said he’s hopeful the two sides can come to terms on an agreement for an extension: “We went and got this guy with the hope that it’s not a short-time thing. I sure hope he’s not leaving.” (Andrew Siciliano)
  • He added he believes Ramsey is absolutely worth resetting the cornerback market: (Rodrigue)
  • Based on past dates for contract extensions for prominent Rams players, a deal for Ramsey could come between the start of training camp and the start of the regular season. (Rich Hammond)

Seahawks

  • Seahawks QB Geno Smith‘s one-year, $1.187 million deal includes a $1.05 million base salary, $137,500 signing bonus and counts $887,500 against the cap under the veteran salary benefit. (Aaron Wilson)
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