NFC West Notes: Cardinals, 49ers, Rams, Seahawks

     

Cardinals

Typically when an organization pulls the type of reset the Cardinals did in 2019, the general manager isn’t around to see it. But despite moving on from former HC Steve Wilks and top-ten QB Josh Rosen after just a year, Cardinals GM Steve Keim got another chance at picking a head coach and quarterback. His choices of Kyler Murray, the offensive rookie of the year, and Kliff Kingsbury have team owner Michael Bidwill in his corner going forward. 

“He just picked a rookie of the year,” Bidwill said via Darren Urban of the team’s website. “He had a lot to do with hiring Kliff Kingsbury. He’s done a lot of things right. I feel like we’ve certainly turned, and for as much as the Cardinals are going in the right direction, Steve Keim deserves a lot of credit for that. I hope fans realize that was a lot of his decision-making.”

  • Bidwill added the team would like to bring back OT D.J. Humphries and cited the franchise tag as one of their options. 
  • Cardinals RB Kenyan Drake is another candidate to re-sign with Arizona, per Bidwill, though it doesn’t sound like they’re willing to break the bank: “It takes two people to make a deal, and there are a lot of moving parts.”
  • According to KUSA’s Mike Klis, Colorado could look at Cardinals DC Vance Joseph as a potential candidate for their open head coaching job. 

49ers

Many receivers start to experience a drop in skills as they advance further into their 30s. However, 49ers WR Emmanuel Sanders says he’s not one of them and all it takes to prove that is a look at his tape from this past season. Despite coming off an Achilles injury, Sanders played in 17 regular-season games — seven with the Broncos and 10 with the 49ers — and was productive, catching 66 passes for 869 yards and five touchdowns. 

“It’s crazy how people keep talking (a)bout my age but I’m still flying past 23-year-olds and only had two drops the entire year,” Sanders tweeted. “Keep bringing up my age to make yourself feel good but go look at the film. I’m still playing at a high level and will continue to play at a high level as long as I want (because) my heart is immeasurable and my work ethic is second to none! And this is coming from a good place. I wish nothing but love and happiness to everyone. Just think it’s funny that people keep bringing it up as if it’s a valid point. Lol.”

  • Matt Barrows of The Athletic believes the 49ers’ current draft priorities are at wide receiver, cornerback, safety, offensive line, and defensive end. 
  • Barrows could see San Francisco trading down to acquire more day-two picks, considering that the 49ers have no picks between No. 31 overall and the fifth-round.
  • Barrows mentions that the 49ers would likely ask for a second-round pick or an early third-round selection in a tag-and-trade in exchange for DE Arik Armstead should they go that route. 
  • Barrows says there’s a great possibility of the 49ers releasing LB Kwon Alexander following the 2020 season than this offseason.

Rams

Plenty of people outside the Rams’ building had doubts about QB Jared Goff before Los Angeles rewarded him with a major extension. Those doubts weren’t alleviated by Goff’s 2019, where he sometimes struggled to elevate the rest of the team after the Rams ran into more obstacles than they had the past two years. Still, the belief in Goff inside the team has not wavered. 

“Absolutely. Yes, he is the guy,” Rams WR Brandin Cooks said to Doug Farrar of USA Today. “I mean, you talk about a guy that . . . we had so many different position changes along the offensive line last year. And for any quarterback, that is so tough. To still be able to stand in there and take the licks, it goes to show you that this guy is willing to do whatever it takes to win for his team. And at that young an age, when you have that mindset, special things happen.”

  • According to ESPN’s Lindsey Thiry, new Rams DC Brandon Staley plans to keep Los Angeles in a 3-4 base defense. 

Seahawks

  • Seahawks RB Rashaad Penny tweeted that he has progressed to exercising on a bike two months after his knee surgery. (Twitter)

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