NFC West Notes: Cardinals, 49ers, Rams

     

Cardinals

Cardinals HC Kliff Kingsbury explained that QB Kyler Murray‘s “comfort level” clearly increased throughout the season.

“We definitely were. But you all saw the development I think throughout the season, the comfort level. We’d love to have him back and be more hands on for a couple more months prior to giving them a break and then training camp. But everybody’s facing the same challenges. And I know Kyler is working really hard,” said Kinsbury, via Howard Balzer of Sports Illustrated

Kingsbury expects Murray to take a “big step” in his development next season. 

He’s chomping at the bit to get back. He has the film to watch; he has the stuff to study; he knows what we have to do and what he has to get better at. And so I expect him to take a big step, just understanding the game; that this is the NFL and the type of proper preparation it takes to be that guy week in week out. And so, yeah, we’d love to have him back here. Do I think it’s going to stunt his growth? I don’t think so. I think he’s figured out what he has to do, and I expect him to take a big step.

49ers

Rams

Rams TE Gerald Everett seemed to be well on his way to a breakout season in 2019 before a knee injury in Week 11 derailed that. Fellow Rams TE Tyler Higbee had the job largely to himself to end the season and was exceptional, but Rams HC Sean McVay said not to discount Everett in the final year of his rookie contract in 2020. 

“Really, really excited about what Gerald Everett’s going to do,” McVay said via USA Today’s Cameron DaSilva. “I think Tyler Higbee did a phenomenal job, but I think Gerald Everett’s a guy that I’ve got to do a better job of utilizing his skill set because he’s a difference-maker. But he’s got to get the opportunities and I think that starts with some of the things I know I can do a better job of.”

  • Sports Illustrated’s Albert Breer writes that Rams CB Jalen Ramsey likely has the leverage to get $20 million a year on an extension from the team, but Los Angeles’ cap situation will make the structure tricky. 
  • Per Bleacher Report’s Mike Freeman, an AFC assistant coach thinks the Rams make sense as a landing spot for QB Cam Newton: “Same as Jameis. He’d be an instant upgrade.”
  • Former Rams RB Todd Gurley and LB Clay Matthews took to Twitter to complain the Rams were past due with payments they were scheduled to receive. 
  • According to ESPN’s Lindsey Thiry, a source says the Rams believe they are in full compliance with the contracts for Gurley and Matthews. The team declined official comment. 
  • Both players were released by the Rams but were still owed guaranteed roster bonuses. Both were subject to offsets if the players signed with new teams. Matthews remains unsigned, but Gurley signed a deal with the Falcons that saved Los Angeles $2.5 million. 
  • Texas A&M DT Justin Madubuike had a Top 30 visit scheduled with the Rams before the shutdown. (Aaron Wilson)
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