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

     

Cardinals

Cardinals’ veteran OL Justin Pugh explained that it’s “good to have some adversity” following QB Kyler Murray‘s struggles in their preseason game against the Raiders. 

But you bring in the first overall pick, everyone wants to see him do all these things,” Pugh said, via Darren Urban of the team’s official site. “We’re going to have a big season. But you’re right, you do want to see some positive things. It’s always good to have good things happen and keep things rolling. But it’s good to have some adversity. I love adversity, when things don’t go our way, because we find out the character of the guys we have in the room.

Pugh said he doesn’t mind Raiders S Lamarcus Joyner‘s comments about the Cardinals’ Air Raid scheme, describing them as a “pretty boy” offensive system. 

I don’t mind the ‘pretty boy,’” Pugh said with a grin. “We got some good-looking guys. What do you want from us? We’re still going to go out there, we’re going to be physical, we’re going to do what we’ve got to do. We have to play hard-nosed football. We’re running the same runs we’ve run everywhere in my career. I’m not really sure what some of these people are watching. It’s still football.

  • According to Pro Football Talk, new Cardinals WR Michael Crabtree‘s deal includes a $3.25 million base salary and up to $2.25 million in incentives.
  • The Cardinals worked out Crabtree back at the beginning of August but the veteran declined to sign for what PFT reports was a deal worth $2.5 million in base salary and $1.5 million in incentives.
  • The final deal also doubled the initially proposed signing bonus, indicating Crabtree is almost sure to make the final roster.
  • ESPN’s Josh Weinfuss says Cardinals sixth-round WR KeeSean Johnson is an “early favorite with the coaching staff” and “may have had the best training camp of anyone on the Cardinals’ roster, veteran or rookie alike.”

49ers

The 49ers signed LB Kwon Alexander to one of the biggest contracts for an inside linebacker ever in free agency this year despite the fact Alexander was still recovering from a torn ACL. Alexander’s rehab has progressed well, however, and he’s set to make his on-field debut in San Francisco’s Week 3 preseason game. 

“It’s a big thing for me,” Alexander said via NBC Sports’ Jennifer Lee Chan. “I haven’t played since a minute now so I’m happy to be back out there. I just think playing instead of practicing, playing in a real game, you know it’s better to be ready for the first game, so you get your feet wet, since I ain’t played so I’m ready to go out there and show what I can do.”“It’s hard [not to look ahead]. It’s hard,” Alexander said. “But you know, I take it one day at a time. Try to make sure my team is straight and I’m straight so once we get there it’s time.”

There’s another date Alexander has circled: Week 1. The 49ers will travel across the country to play Alexander’s former team, the Buccaneers. 

“It’s hard [not to look ahead]. It’s hard,” Alexander said. “But you know, I take it one day at a time. Try to make sure my team is straight and I’m straight so once we get there it’s time.”

  • 49ers S Jimmie Ward was cleared to participate in team drills, per Eric Branch.
  • 49ers HC Kyle Shanahan says his goal is for QB Jimmy Garoppolo to play at least a full half on Saturday against the Chiefs. (Matt Barrows)
  • Shanahan has been looking for consistency in his largely young receiving corps and used that word to praise WR Jordan Matthews, who is battling for one of the last roster spots with Kendrick Bourne: “He’s had a hell of a camp. He was very consistent in OTA’s and training camp. I’ve got a lot of confidence in Jordan and know we can win with him.” (Cam Inman)

Rams

Rams S Eric Weddle didn’t have to wait long after being released by the Ravens this offseason to find a new team, landing in Los Angeles three days later on a two-year, $10.5 million deal. Weddle says other teams offered him more money, but no one else offered him the same chance at a Super Bowl the Rams did. 

“I had tons of opportunities to go other places for a lot more money,” Weddle said via ESPN’s Lindsey Thiry. “But it’s just not a reality at this point of my career. It’s a great opportunity to come to an amazing organization, an established team with an amazing coach, go out and put my stamp on things and try to help lead this team to a championship.”

Seahawks

  • According to ESPN’s Brady Henderson, Seahawks DE Ezekiel Ansah‘s deal includes $4.25 million in incentives. 
  • Ansah can get $500,000 for playing between 35 and 45 percent of the defensive snaps, $1 million for playing between 45 and 55 percent and $1.5 million for more than 55 percent. 
  • Ansah also has a $500,000 incentive for reaching 4.5 sacks, $1 million for reaching 6.5 sacks, $1.5 million for reaching 8 sacks, $2 million for reaching 10 sacks and $2.5 million for reaching 12 sacks. 
  • Ansah can also make an additional $250,000 if the Seahawks make the playoffs and Ansah is named to the Pro Bowl. 
  • Ansah played 15 percent of the Lion’s snaps in 2018, recorded four sacks and did not make the Pro Bowl or playoffs, meaning his incentives are considered “not likely to be earned” and don’t count against Seattle’s cap space. 
  • Ansah’s deal also includes $6 million guaranteed and $3 million total in per-game roster bonuses. The base value is $9 million with a max including incentives of $13.25 million.
  • Seahawks HC Pete Carroll said second-round S Marquise Blair is “day-to-day” due to back spasms that forced him to leave Sunday’s preseason game against the Vikings: “He just didn’t quite make it back today. He tried and wasn’t able to go.” (Brady Henderson)

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