NFC West Notes: Cardinals, 49ers, Rams

     

Cardinals

  • According to DevilsDigest.com, the Cardinals are hiring Arizona State grad assistant Mike Bercovici to their staff. 

49ers

While the 49ers are positioned well to make another run at the Super Bowl in 2020, the upcoming offseason isn’t without its obstacles to navigate. The nature of the NFL is that having enough good players to have success usually means less cap space to make major changes. 49ers GM John Lynch says San Francisco will have to make tradeoffs this offseason, as bringing back DL Arik Armstead, S Jimmie Ward and WR Emmanuel Sanders along with extending DL DeForest Buckner might not be feasible. 

“Someone was asking me, ‘Characterize our situation,’” Lynch said via ESPN’s Nick Wagoner. “It’s not bleak. It’s not like some people where you have to cut players just to be able to meet certain deals. I think more so understanding that there are players that are really good players we want to take care of, knowing it is tight. There may have to be trade-offs along the way. But I think we’re in a good position to find a way to certainly keep the core together and even, like I said, our mindset to improve it.”

  • With less than $20 million in cap space and only four picks in the upcoming draft, Matt Barrows of the Athletic believes the 49ers’ biggest questions on offense are whether or not the team should re-sign WR Emmanuel Sanders and what to do with their group of running backs.
  • Raheem Mostert had a breakout season, while Tevin Coleman, Jerick McKinnon, and Matt Breida dealt with injuries. Barrows says it is notable that Breida had zero offensive snaps in the Super Bowl after Jeff Wilson suited up for the team.
  • Beyond that, Barrows mentions that McKinnon may need to restructure his deal in order to remain with the team after missing two seasons with an ACL injury.
  • Defensively, Barrows is unsure if the 49ers’ can retain DL Arik Armstead if they also re-sign DL DeForest Buckner to a long-term deal. Barrows wonders if the team could pull off a sign-and-trade involving Armstead with a team such as the Browns, who now have two former 49ers’ defensive coaches on their staff in Joe Woods and Chris Kiffin.
  •  Albert Breer of SI mentions that he wouldn’t be surprised if Michigan State made another inquiry about 49ers defensive coordinator Robert Saleh. Michigan State officials flew to California to meet with Saleh last week, however, he told them that he was staying in the NFL.

Rams

  • According to ESPN’s Lindsey Thiry, Rams S Taylor Rapp will replace Eric Weddle as a starter, while the team also expects to get back S John Johnson from injury. 
  • Thiry also says the Rams will need to replace DL Michael Brockers who’s expected to leave for more money than Los Angeles can afford in free agency. 
  • The Rams could use the franchise tag to prevent DE Dante Fowler from reaching the open market, per Thiry. 
  • Thiry writes the Rams are unlikely to re-sign LB Cory Littleton given that he’ll want a market-value contract, meaning Micah Kiser, Kenny Young and Travin Howard are next up as potential starters in 2020. 
  • Thiry mentions the Rams could cut CB Nickell Robey-Coleman to save some money given CB Troy Hill‘s ability to play in the slot. 
  • The Rams hired Akron CB coach Jonathan Cooley as a defensive assistant/QC coach. (Bruce Feldman)

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