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



49ers HC Kyle Shanahan believes San Francisco was the best team in the NFL last season even though it fell short in the Super Bowl. As a result, the team faces an interesting conundrum this offseason. Go all-in on bringing back as much of last year’s team as possible, whether that’s using the franchise tag on DL Arik Armstead or re-signing Shanahan-favorite veteran WR Emmanuel Sanders. Or build more sustainably with big-ticket deals for DL DeForest Buckner, whose agents are meeting with the 49ers at the Combine, and TE George Kittle imminent. 

“There are so many connecting parts with people who are up (for new contracts) now and people who are up later,” Shanahan said via the Athletic’s Matt Barrows. “Are you just trying to do it for one year — just sell the farm for one year? — or have your best chances over a two- or three-year span?”

  • Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller writes a trade back from No. 31 in the draft to add more picks is strongly on the table for the 49ers. San Francisco has just five picks and none between the first and fifth rounds. 


Rams HC Sean McVay said he is “pretty confident” they will be able to re-sign impending free-agent LT Andrew Whitworth to an extension. 

I think we’re pretty confident,” McVay said, via Rich Hammond of The Athletic. “I think you feel pretty good about it. He still played a really high level last year. His impact isn’t exclusive to just playing the left-tackle position. He does a lot of really good things in terms of the mentorship that he provides. … He’s a part of the plan and definitely want to try to get him back.”

Rams GM Les Snead believes they will continue to produce with RB Todd Gurley and their running game next season. 

Overall, based on many factors, the goal is to continue being able to run the football at a good level,” Snead said. “That’s part of Sean and his offense’s DNA and that’s our goal, to keep making that a fruitful, productive part of the arsenal.”

McVay feels that their offense wasn’t “consistent enough” in 2019 and they must reinvigorate their rushing attack. 

We just weren’t consistent enough as an offense, being able to make people honor that threat of running the football. Then when we did commit to it, I thought we had some good results but then also it wasn’t consistent enough. I think, in a lot of instances — like sacks are unfairly pegged on the O-line, the run game is not exclusively a result of what a running back can do. I think the running game is truly a representation of all 11 (players) and their contributions.”

  • Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller writes that a rival GM expects the Rams to be heavily involved in the trade market this offseason. 
  • The Rams moved assistant WR coach Liam Coen to assistant QB coach. (Jeff Howe)


The Seahawks needed a big rookie year from first-round DE L.J. Collier in 2019. Instead, Collier played in just 11 games and finished the year with just three total tackles, finishing the year as an inactive in both of Seattle’s playoff games. Seahawks GM John Schneider said a training camp ankle injury put Collier behind schedule and he spent the whole year trying to catch up. 

“We were lucky that we had him. We thought we were going to lose him for the season that day (in camp),” Schneider said via NBC Sports’ Joe Fann. “We were lucky that we didn’t have to place him on IR. Obviously we would have liked to see him make a little bit more of a dent.”

Improving the pass rush is still a priority for the Seahawks this offseason and Schneider says the team is optimistic that Collier can provide more in his second season. 

“He’s a powerful rusher,” Schneider said. “He’s got great hands. He can rush inside. He can rush outside. He can rush at the five (technique). He can rush at the three (technique). He’s going to be… we’re excited.”

  • Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller writes the Seahawks are hoping to land another receiver in the second round. 

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