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

     

Cardinals

Although Cardinals GM Steve Keim said the team is prepared to start C Mason Cole, that doesn’t mean they won’t re-sign veteran free-agent C A.Q. Shipley.

“It’s like anything else. There’s a number of guys who are free agents right now, but I wouldn’t rule anything out, is all I’ll say,” said Keim, via Bob McManaman.

As for the possibility of the Cardinals drafting a receiver at No. 8 overall, Keim said their acquisition of WR DeAndre Hopkins does not preclude them from selecting one in the first round. 

“You want to look at the long-term contracts you have in place, whether guys can play inside or outside,” Keim said, via Darren Urban of the team’s official site. “If there is a player at the right spot, someone we are high on, we will certainly take advantage of that. I say this every year, your needs are always changing. Just because it seems on the surface we’re not as needy at wide receiver, that could change pretty quickly.”

Keim feels that Hopkins’ addition will take the Cardinals’ offense “to the next level.

“DeAndre was a guy that myself and others in the organization had been really high on,” Keim said. “To be able to get a player of his caliber and to add him to the weapons we already possess I feel can take us to the next level.”

Keim mentioned that Cardinals QB Kyler Murray is lobbying for Arizona to draft his former teammate, Oklahoma WR CeeDee Lamb. 

“(He’s) lobbied for CeeDee Lamb, he’s lobbied for 4 or 5 offensive linemen, a running back and a tight end. He hasn’t once said anything to me about a defensive player, so I’m not sure he’s a guy I’m going to hang my hat on when it comes to draft day,” said Keim, via McManaman.

  • Keim added that the Cardinals would be willing to trade down from No. 8 overall in exchange for the “right draft compensation and if the right player is there.” (McManaman)
  • Keim also said he’d be “just as willing” to trade up in the first round or to recover a second-round pick.  
  • The Cardinals had an offer on the table for RB DeAndre Washington before he chose the Chiefs, per Herbie Teope of the Kansas City Star. 

49ers

Despite the rumors starting to fly thick and fast between the 49ers and QB Tom Brady at one point in March, DL Arik Armstead never really thought Brady would be his starting quarterback in 2020. Despite his shortcomings in the playoffs, 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo still helped lead San Francisco to the Super Bowl and he has Armstead’s full confidence. 

“I thought it was cool for the media and fans, you know cool story to be like this is crazy and draw a bunch of attention but I didn’t really think too much more of it than that,” Armstead said with Chris Simms on Unbuttoned via Pro Football Talk. “I didn’t see our organization in the position that we are in after the year that we just had and make a huge adjustment like that. Jimmy is our quarterback and our leader so I didn’t see that as an actual possibility.”

“I mean, shoot, when he is on the field, we win,” Armstead continued. “I mean the year when he got here when he was on the field we won and then he got hurt and unfortunately and then when he came back we won so I don’t know really what more you want out of him.”

Rams

Former Rams WR Brandin Cooks has had the unique distinction of being traded three times so far in his still young NFL career. The Saints and Patriots each shipped him off for a first-round pick and the Rams just dealt Cooks to the Texans for a second-round pick. However, HC Sean McVay said that’s not an indication of Cooks as a teammate and Los Angeles just had to make hard decisions this offseason. 

“It’s the result of a lot of tough decisions that we really had to make organizationally as a whole this offseason,” McVay said via Fox Sports. “Losing a lot of great players that have been instrumental in our success and Brandin is one of those guys as well, but it’s also a reflection of the confidence that we do have in some other players on our roster.”

  • In an interview on NFL Network, Rams GM Les Snead said both former Rams RB Todd Gurley and LB Clay Matthews will get the money Los Angeles still owes them: “They’re definitely owed money. That money is guaranteed, we’re going to pay them. There’s some language in the contract of exactly when you pay them and that’s what we’re adhering by. What I do know is both Clay and Todd earned that money and they’re going to get that money.”
  • Rams WR Cooper Kupp said there haven’t been any talks between him and the team about a long-term deal, but added it’s not that big of a priority with everything else going on in the world: “We haven’t done anything yet… it’s really not a priority.” (Lindsey Thiry)

Seahawks

Seahawks OC Brian Schottenheimer said they plan to move around WR D.K. Metcalf more in 2020 than they did last season. 

The No. 1 thing that we know is that we can move him around and do different things with him,” Schottenheimer said, via Joe Fann of NBC Sports. “He kind of got stuck at the ‘X’ receiver last year. This year we know we can move him around quite a bit more. There are so many more routes he can run. He’s proven he can get behind people.”

Schottenheimer is hopeful that introducing Metcalf to “different route concepts” will help him produce more going forward. 

“I just think the flexibility of moving him around and introducing some different route concepts that we can kind of get him up to speed on that will complement the things that he’s already put on film. It will be an incredible, incredible advantage for us as we head into next season.”

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