RENTON, Wash. -- Seattle Seahawks tight end Anthony McCoy, who missed all last season after undergoing surgery for a torn Achilles tendon in his right ankle, appears to have torn his left Achilles tendon during practice Tuesday.

"If it is what we think it is, it's just a real heartbreaker," said Seahawks coach Pete Carroll. "Anthony has worked so hard to get back. If it was the same Achilles you might understand it, but it's the other one."

McCoy was expected to make the team as the third tight end behind Zach Miller and Luke Willson, but his injury opens an opportunity for Cooper Helfet and rookie RaShaun Allen.

Left guard James Carpenter and middle linebacker Bobby Wagner left practice early, but Carroll said both are OK.

"His calf just got tightened up a little bit so we pulled him out early," Carroll said of Carpenter. "It was the same type of thing on Bobby with the hamstring."

Rookie outside linebacker Kevin Pierre-Louis missed practice Tuesday with a stomach injury.

"He's got a little oblique thing that has bothered him," Carroll said of Pierre-Louis. "We're hoping it's not a serious deal, but we want to make sure we don't push him too hard or two fast."

Outside linebacker O'Brien Schofield did not practice Tuesday, but he was getting a rest day.
EARTH CITY, Mo. -- The St. Louis Rams have made it through the collectively bargained opening days of training camp. Now the real football can begin.

With a practice scheduled for 4:30 p.m. ET Tuesday, the Rams are set to put on the pads for the first time in this camp. Here's a look at some things I'll be watching as the physical contact and, presumably, the intensity takes a step up.

Catching up

It's pretty normal for the defense to be well ahead of the offense in the opening days of camp, but it's fair to say that if you play offense, especially on the line, in St. Louis, the pads aren't coming on a moment too soon. The hope is that adding pads will help neutralize things a bit and the offensive line will be able to go toe to toe with the dominant defensive line on a more consistent basis. So far, the defense has been so aggressive that it's been difficult for quarterback Sam Bradford and the top offense to get much of anything going. In most of the team drills, Bradford hasn't even had time to throw, and when he has, he's often done it in the face of a defender or two. Rams coach Jeff Fisher intimated that the No. 1 offense and No. 1 defense won't square off as much as they did during the opening days of camp, either. That could be a positive development for the top offense, which needs to get into a rhythm and gain some confidence as preseason games draw closer. If the starters begin seeing more backups opposite them, the real loser is the poor second-string offensive line charged with stopping the first-team defensive line.


My personal favorite drill to watch in training camp is the one-on-one pass-rushing drills. I pay attention to the lines before the pads come on, but you can't really get a feel for them until the pads are on. So even though the pass-rush drills take place during seven-on-seven passing drills, I often find myself gravitating toward the big men on the other end of the field. That won't change this year. I'm most interested to see how the two first-round picks fare in these drills -- offensive lineman Greg Robinson and defensive tackle Aaron Donald. Robinson had the unfortunate task of getting tossed in against Robert Quinn in the opening days, and he's expected to take reps at tackle and guard in these drills so we should get to see him try his hand against Quinn again and against Donald as well. As for Donald, I'm curious to see if the addition of pads will slow him down any (my guess: a resounding no), and I want to see him against Rodger Saffold on the inside. A good look at new defensive tackle Alex Carrington and some of the young linemen jockeying for position will also be worth watching.

Getting physical

There's been plenty of hype surrounding receiver Kenny Britt since his arrival and his performance in organized team activities and even in the early days of camp. Some of that has trickled down to other wideouts such as Brian Quick, Stedman Bailey and Tavon Austin. But it's been difficult to evaluate how they're really faring since the cornerbacks have been unable to do what many expect them to under the guidance of defensive coordinator Gregg Williams. Which is to say, they haven't really been able to be as physical in press coverage as perhaps Williams wants them to be. One-on-one, seven-on-seven and team drills should give us a better glimpse at not only what Williams wants to do coverage-wise, but also a better gauge of what's real and what's not when it comes to receiver potential for the season.
RENTON, Wash. -- Back-end roster moves are typical during training camp, but the Seattle Seahawks made a major move Tuesday by signing offensive tackle Eric Winston.

Winston, 30, is an eight-year veteran who has started 119 of the 124 games he has played, including all 16 games last season for the Arizona Cardinals. He also is the president of the NFL Players Association.

Winston played six seasons for the Houston Texans before signing with Kansas City in 2012. He has been working out this summer in Houston with Texans receiver Andre Johnson and running back Arian Foster.

Winston (6-foot-7, 300 pounds) has played most of his NFL career at right tackle, so this could be an indication that the Seahawks aren't comfortable with where things stand at that spot.

Rookie Justin Britt, a second-round draft choice from Missouri, has gotten all the first-team snaps at camp so far. Second-year tackle Michael Bowie, who was expected to compete for the starting job, is out with a shoulder injury.

Britt has looked good in run blocking but has struggled at times on pass blocking. Bringing in Winston gives the Seahawks a proven veteran if they aren’t comfortable starting a rookie right tackle in the NFC West, which is loaded with talented defensive linemen.
EARTH CITY, Mo. -- Kurt Warner and Sam Bradford couldn't have taken paths any different to become the starting quarterback for the St. Louis Rams than the ones that ultimately landed them in the position.

But that doesn't mean Warner can't understand what Bradford goes through in his efforts to prove the job should belong to him well into the future.

"I came in as a free agent and it was its own pressure because I knew I’d get one shot and that was it and so there was pressure with that," Warner said. "There’s pressure playing the quarterback position. Being the No. 1 overall pick, when a team invests that much in you and says you’re that guy, I think it’s hard not to feel that pressure to live up to that billing."

Through most of Bradford's first four seasons, Warner has been supportive of his efforts to hold down the job that he once did. Because Warner is the only quarterback to lead the team to sustained success since its move in 1995, he remains the standard by which all quarterbacks are judged.

That's not to say Bradford has done enough to remove doubts about his status as a franchise quarterback so much as it's a reminder of the lofty status a quarterback in St. Louis must reach to be mentioned in the same breath as Warner.

In evaluating Bradford, Warner points to the need for an improved supporting cast that's existed almost since his arrival in St. Louis as the No. 1 overall pick in 2010.

"I’m the first one to say that I understand playing that position has so much to do with the people around you," Warner said. "But there’s also part of that position where you have to step up and separate yourself and be able to carry your team. Those are the expectations that are on Sam right now. They haven’t always had the pieces around him to allow him to make plays but being where he’s at, now they’ve got some young talent here, it becomes that next step for him to take that next leadership role and to take more upon himself."

Therein lies the additional ways Warner would like to see Bradford elevate his game. While he's remained a proponent of Bradford's, there's one key area he'd like to see improve. He shared that with "The Fast Lane," the afternoon drive radio show on 101 ESPN in St. Louis during a Monday interview.

"I think he wants to be great," Warner told the radio station. "I think he's a smart kid. ... there's a lot of good things that I see. I think the one thing for me when I watch film is I want to see him develop the confidence where he's willing to take some chances with the football. That he's willing to say, 'Guys, follow me.' I'm going to carry us a little bit. I'm going to take that shot down the field because I see it and I believe I can make it as opposed to second-guessing himself and throwing the check down."

Warner went on to say that he's OK with the occasional check down, but his general argument is one that has been a sticking point for many observers of Bradford since he entered the league. Some attribute his unwillingness to throw down the field to a lack of a trustworthy receiver, which also has some truth to it. But from the sound of Warner, it's more about being willing to take the risk that he can make a throw good enough to give the receiver no choice but to make the play.

In his first four seasons, Bradford's average of 6.29 yards per attempt and 5.50 yards per drop back ranks 31st in the NFL. To improve on that Bradford will have to bounce back from offseason ACL surgery, which is no easy task according to Warner.

"It’s not easy," Warner said. "It's not easy coming back from an injury, having only played half the season last year but those are the expectations that come with that position and being a franchise quarterback. I think those are the expectations now when you look at the division, you look at the NFC as a whole, you have to have that position to be successful and that position has to play well and play big at big moments. So he’s going to deal with that just because he’s a starting quarterback."
RENTON, Wash. -- The Seattle Seahawks needed Marshawn Lynch to reach the pinnacle of the NFL. The Seahawks do not need Lynch to stay there.

Lynch has been the heart and soul of the Seahawks' success for four seasons. Other than Mount Rainier, the two best-known words in the Pacific Northwest are Beast Mode.

It’s an iconic term used to describe Lynch’s relentless running style, a symbol of the physical presence he brings to a team that takes pride in its aggressive style of play.

But as good as he is and as much as Lynch has meant to this organization, the Seahawks do not need him for the team to continue to play at a championship level.

Want a little statistical proof?

  • The Seahawks won the 2014 Super Bowl by 35 points over Denver on a night when Lynch rushed for 39 yards on 13 carries.
  • The Seahawks played seven games last season when Lynch rushed for fewer than 70 yards. They were 7-0 in those games.

That’s not to downplay his contribution. Lynch has led Seattle to many important victories. He is a unique player and one of the best running backs in the NFL. But because of this team's depth and talent, they can keep winning without him.

[+] EnlargeMarshawn Lynch
Joe Nicholson/USA TODAY SportsSeattle running back Marshawn Lynch has rushed for more than 4,000 yards over the past three seasons.
That’s why Lynch made a mistake in holding out to try to force changes to his contract. And it’s one reason his holdout could end soon, possibly Tuesday. The likelihood is this distraction will end and Lynch will be the team’s starting running back again.

The Seahawks, however, have talented running backs waiting in the wings -- second-year player Christine Michael and third-year back Robert Turbin are more than capable of carrying the load for a team that emphasizes a run-first philosophy.

“Both of those guys are going to be tremendous backs for us,” quarterback Russell Wilson said. “Obviously, we want Marshawn to come back. We love the guy to death and all the things that he does. We have tons of respect for how Marshawn plays. But at the same time, Robert and Christine will be ready to go, that’s for sure.”

Exactly how good Michael and Turbin can be is a bit of an unknown, but neither of them can be what Lynch has been. Lynch is a throwback to a bygone era, a relentless power runner who sacrifices his body to do whatever it takes to move forward. Former Houston Oilers running back Earl Campbell might be the best comparison to Lynch.

That style of running also takes a huge toll on a player’s body. Lynch has rushed for 4,051 yards over the past three seasons while carrying the ball 901 times. No man can take that many hits and continue to play at a high level over the long haul.

That has been proved and is one reason the Seattle hierarchy is not inclined to give Lynch more money. General manager John Schneider and coach Pete Carroll made it clear last week that they expect Lynch to honor his four-year, $30 million deal, which has two years to go.

Neither side is all right or all wrong in NFL contract issues. For example, it’s easy to say Lynch should honor his deal, but the team could release him after the 2014 season (a good possibility for salary-cap reasons) and owe him nothing on the final year of his contract.

So it’s not unreasonable for Lynch to want more money or some type of guarantee on his 2015 salary. But his leverage isn’t nearly as strong as he thinks. The Seahawks would move on without him if they had to without much concern.

“I feel good about it,” cornerback Richard Sherman said Sunday. “I think [Lynch] will be fine. I think whichever decision he makes, I will be fine with. I’m sure he is in shape and can take his 300 carries and be our workhorse. But if it’s his time [to quit], then other guys will step up.”

Sherman was speaking about the idea that Lynch might retire, which isn't likely because it would cost him $6.5 million in salary and bonuses this season.

Wilson has spoken to Lynch on the phone and texted with him the past few days.

“He wants to play,” Wilson said. “He loves playing. I hope that he comes back. He’s a great football player, and he can do so many great things for us. We love him in the locker room. We love him on game day. So we definitely want him back.”

Of course they do. But this team has a quarterback who is starting his third NFL season and is well on his way to becoming one the league’s top players. It has a receiving corps with a healthy Percy Harvin, one of the NFL’s most explosive players. And it has young running backs capable of becoming 1,000-yard rushers.

Everyone on the team wants Lynch to carry the load again this season, but the Seahawks don’t need him to carry it.
RENTON, Wash. – Live TV from training camp, actually showing the players on the field during individual and team drills, is a first. But it’s something viewers across the country will have the opportunity to see Tuesday on ESPN at camp practice for the defending Super Bowl champion Seattle Seahawks.

The two-hour "SportsCenter" special starts at 1:30 p.m. ET (10:30 a.m. PT) right as practice begins. "Monday Night Football’s" Jon Gruden, studio analyst Darren Woodson, "SportsCenter" anchor Kenny Mayne and ESPN senior writer John Clayton will take part of the telecast.

All four men were watching practice on Sunday in preparation for the show.

“I’ve never seen this type of energy on a football field in training camp,” Gruden said Monday on 710 ESPN Seattle. “The energy level is amazing. If you want to see enthusiasm, watch the first three minutes on this show. It will be an eye-opener for people to see how the Seahawks conduct practice.”

Gruden also said he differs from his ESPN colleague Ron Jaworski on how they view Seattle quarterback Russell Wilson. Jaworski said he would take Philadelphia quarterback Nick Foles over Wilson.

“I just saw Russell walk away with the Lombardi trophy,” Gruden said. “I like mobility and players who create offense when nothing is there. Just watch [Wilson] play. I’ve never seen intangibles like Russ has – dedication, leadership, work ethic, everything.”

Cardinals Camp Report: Day 3

July, 28, 2014
Jul 28
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of Arizona Cardinals training camp:
  • Another day, another injury. This time it was starting center Lyle Sendlein who was missing for the majority of practice. He suffered a left calf injury and was replaced by veteran offensive lineman Ted Larsen. Sendlein has been durable, missing just five games since his rookie season. Larsen is in his fifth season. Cardinals coach Bruce Arians will address Sendlein's injury Tuesday morning when he meets the media.
  • One of the most asked questions leading into the first day with pads was whether or not John Brown would be as fast with pads on as he is without them? He answered that quickly, connecting with Drew Stanton for an 82-yard touchdown pass in which he outran safeties Rashad Johnson and Curtis Taylor.
  • A day after announcing he wasn't playing offense anymore, cornerback Patrick Peterson began Monday's practice going through foot drills with the quarterbacks and running short goal line routes during their warm-ups.
  • One of the lighter moments of practice came when punter Dave Zastudil hit tackle Kelvin Palmer for a touchdown pass on a fake field goal. The 6-foot-4, 290-pound Palmer went airborne for the pass over a defender and came down for the score.
  • As the kicking competition continues, Jay Feely went 4-for-5 on Monday, making two kicks from 48 yards, and a kick from 45 and 46 while missing a 33-yarder. Danny Hrapmann made kicks from 33, 45 and 46 while missing a 48-yarder.
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Christian Tupou didn't feel comfortable answering questions about his unexpected ascent up the depth chart. He hasn't even made the team, he pointed out.

Whether the Cardinals' second-year defensive tackle feels like the attention is warranted or not, he was thrown into the spotlight when starting nose tackle Dan Williams left Sunday's practice with a swollen left knee. Williams is expected to miss Monday, as well, and with Alameda Ta'amu on the physically unable to perform list while he rehabs his repaired right knee, Tupou has been thrust onto the first team as its nose tackle.

"All I can do is give my best," Tupou said Monday morning. "I really don't know what I have to show specifically. I'll just give my best."

So far through camp, Tupou's best has been good enough.

But Tupou needs to put the humility aside for a few days. At stake is a spot on a 53-man roster. Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said the opportunity to get reps with the first team allows Tupou to display what he can do.

"He's shown very well so far," Arians said. "That's another guy we want to see in pads. He's shown up. He's got everybody's attention."

It's been a long-time coming. Tupou was signed by the Chicago Bears out of Southern California as a free agent in 2013. He spent time in Chicago's training camp and on its practice squad before he was elevated to the 53-man roster last November. He spent about a month-and-a-half there and played five games, notching three tackles.

He spent the postseason and offseason bouncing around the league from Indianapolis to San Francisco to Arizona on May 16.

Tupou is just humbled to be in an NFL camp. He downplayed the opportunity he's been given and even thought he shouldn't even be talking to the media. And he's trying not to be starstruck when he looks to his right and sees Darnell Dockett in a three-point stance and Calais Campbell to his left.

"That's not what the game is about," Tupou said. "I'm just focused about being assignment perfect, doing my best."

Rams Camp Report: Day 4

July, 28, 2014
Jul 28
EARTH CITY, Mo. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of St. Louis Rams training camp.
  • The Rams were finally able to put the pads on Monday morning and did so for a special teams workout before the full squad puts them on this week. Coach Jeff Fisher prefers to get his players acclimated to wearing pads in a special teams workout before throwing them into the mix of a real practice. It has been common practice in the previous two seasons as well.
  • Believe it or not, special teams practices are pretty entertaining, at least near the end. In what has become a rite of passage for young players trying to make the roster, there are two full-contact drills that really promote competition. In a fairly basic punt cover drill, a gunner lines up on either side of the line with two players in front of him. When the ball is punted or shot out of the JUGS machine, the gunner's task is to beat the double team and get down the field as fast as possible. It is no surprise that linebackers Ray-Ray Armstrong and Daren Bates took the first rep in contact drills Monday. Special teams coach John Fassel wants that duo to take on more of a leadership role this season, and they helped set the tone by jumping into the first rep. The other notable moment from that work was defensive back Lamarcus Joyner taking on Miami natives Stedman Bailey and Brandon McGee. Joyner referred to Bailey and McGee as the Miami Heat, but acquitted himself well by battling tooth and nail. That was enough to draw Fassel's praise. Fassel has been impressed with Joyner so far and said the rookie embodies what he is looking for in a special teams player.
  • The other notable drill, the main event so to speak, is the one-on-ones that close the practice. The premise is simple: there is a blue tackling dummy set up and two players line up side by side. At the whistle, one player is responsible for getting to the bag and knocking it over while the other's job is to block the pursuer. It's the drill where Bates made his name in 2013 and opened eyes to the prospect of his making the roster. This time, Bates didn't participate, perhaps as a way of dialing him back a bit, but Armstrong was easy to find. Armstrong became tangled with linebacker Lawrence Wilson which set off a short exchange of shoves and words.
  • Michael Sam also drew praise from Fassel for his work, particularly as a blocker on kick and punt return. Fassel said Sam's weight loss has made a noticeable difference, and he is a bit faster when running down kicks. For now, Fassel envisions Sam contributing in the blocking role while he works on developing the long speed necessary to run down kicks.
  • Center Scott Wells isn't a part of the special teams, but he did do some work on the side with offensive line coaches Paul Boudreau and Andy Dickerson.
EARTH CITY, Mo. -- Growing up in Sanford, Fla., St. Louis Rams linebacker Ray-Ray Armstrong couldn't help but admire the way then Miami safety Sean Taylor played football.

In an area where football doubles as a way of life and a way out, Armstrong patterned his game after Taylor's hard-hitting style. When doing a search for the photos of Taylor one day, Armstrong came across one bearing a nickname he immediately liked: the "Boom King."

Taylor was tragically murdered in 2007 but Armstrong wanted to find a way to honor him and embraced the nickname. For the uninitiated, Armstrong's Twitter handle is @boom_king26, which includes the nickname and Taylor's number.

[+] EnlargeRay-Ray Armstrong
AP Photo/Jeff RobersonSpecial-teams coach Jim Fassel asked Ray-Ray Armstrong to play a larger leadership role this season.
"(He) was my favorite player growing up and my favorite player of all time, really, so it was on a picture of his I googled once so I just ran with it," Armstrong said Monday. "I tried to model myself after him."

As this version of the Boom King surveyed his kingdom in Monday morning's special-teams-only practice, he couldn't help but take a moment to think of how far he'd come. It was at a practice just like Monday's where Armstrong and fellow linebacker Daren Bates first left the indelible impressions on the coaching staff that would help unseat some of the special teams' core veterans. To see him was to see just how far he's come in a year.

"It makes a big difference," special-teams coach John Fassel said. "It feels like they are veteran guys but really it's only the second year. Last year, there were some veteran guys that got beat out on a day like today by Ray-Ray and Daren and Chase [Reynolds]. That's how they made the team. The rookies and new guys this year are trying to do to them what they did last year to the guys that didn't make the team."

The journey was even deeper for Armstrong.

Armstrong was once a highly regard college prospect at Miami, playing safety and quite literally following in Taylor's footsteps. But Armstrong ran into some trouble off the field and was kicked off the team in July 2012. He attempted to play at Faulkner University, an NAIA school in Montgomery, Ala., but was eventually ruled ineligible.

Instead of building on a strong sophomore season with the Hurricanes, Armstrong was out of the game completely. The Rams signed him after he went unselected in the 2013 NFL draft and promptly moved him to linebacker. It was a new position for the former safety but his path to the roster was clearly on special teams.

Fast forward to Monday afternoon and Armstrong is back for his second training camp in a much different spot than he was in 2013.

"It means a lot," Armstrong said. "Coming from a whole year off of football and coming back into it, I felt pretty good going out and playing. I didn’t lose too much. Now this year, the second year in a row competing at this level so I feel like -- I don’t want to say I’m there yet, not at all -- but just moving forward."

After a rough start to his rookie season in which Armstrong was prone to costly penalties, he settled in and made 12 tackles and helped the punt coverage team to an NFL record in limiting return yards. Fassel has even asked Armstrong and Bates to take on more of a leadership role on special teams.

"We were kind of the leaders on the field last year on core teams, along with Rodney McLeod, so to just move forward with that, he told us to take a little more responsibility and bring the other guys along," Armstrong said.

For his part, Armstrong is also taking aim at expanding his role beyond leadership. While the Rams seem mostly set with starters at linebacker in Alec Ogletree, James Laurinaitis and Jo-Lonn Dunbar, Armstrong is like any young player hoping to get more opportunities to help on defense.

Now that Armstrong has a year at linebacker to his name, those chances could arise on a more consistent basis.

“That would be the case with both Daren and Ray-Ray," coach Jeff Fisher said. "Both of them were core guys for us last year, big play guys. They’re both settling in and making big plays on the defense.”

While the different ways Armstrong can be used remain to be seen, he left little doubt about who rules the roost in special-teams practices with his performance Monday morning. He and Bates took the first rep of full contact as a means to set the tone and Armstrong was involved in the first scuffle of this camp, engaging linebacker Lawrence Wilson in a war of shoves and words.

"It’s all competing," Armstrong said. "Competition is football. Some tempers flare up here and there. We’ve got pads on, it’s the first day."

And nobody knows better than Armstrong what a difference one day can make.
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians was excited for the start of padded practices, which begin Monday afternoon.

"We were very fortunate yesterday," Arians said. "We were way too active to be in shorts. I was holding my breath a little bit yesterday, but it was an outstanding practice."

• Arians said nose tackle Dan Williams will have an MRI on his swollen left knee. Williams is expected to miss Monday afternoon's practice.

• With pads being donned Monday, Arians won't limit how much his players hit. "With the limited time you can hit now, you can't hit enough, in my opinion."

• Arians said he hopes to keep four tight ends, but the rotation will be "more tailored to what they do best."

• Arians won't "baby" tight end John Carlson because of his history of concussions.

• When it comes to using fullbacks, Arians would rather use a versatile tight end than a true fullback because defenses can't prepare for a tight end that can play both positions as well as they can for a fullback.

• Quarterback Logan Thomas will get more snaps than Ryan Lindley in practice because he's newer, Arians said.

• Arians isn't a fan of training camp fights. He'd rather buy his players boxing gloves -- like Bear Bryant used to -- than see them break their hands. But Arians said he won't fine players for fights, he'll just "cut them."
EARTH CITY, Mo. -- In some ways it was strange to see former St. Louis Rams quarterback Kurt Warner throwing passes to receivers during training camp, especially Chris Givens, who now wears the No. 13 that Warner once made famous.

But as Warner threw about a dozen routes to Givens and fellow receiver Tavon Austin after Sunday's practice, the nearly 2,300 fans in attendance didn't care much that Warner wasn't in uniform. They just cared that he was home.

Part of Warner's new life, the life that began after he announced his retirement from the Arizona Cardinals in 2008, is working as a broadcaster for the NFL Network. That's what brought him back to St. Louis Sunday night. In fact, visits to Rams Park since his 2003 release have been few and far between.

“I can’t tell you when I was back here before, but it seems like I’ve been here a couple times," Warner said. “But it hasn’t been often. Obviously, my life moved to Phoenix, and with the kids and all that since retirement. Not that I don’t love this place and have strong feelings for it but sometimes we just move on and go other places."

Of course, considering the outpouring of love Warner received upon his return to St. Louis, it's clear that had the fans had their way Warner never would have departed in the first place. It's water under the bridge at this point, but there are still some who have a bitter taste in their mouth about the way Warner departed.

After leading the Rams to a pair of Super Bowls, including a win in Super Bowl XXXIV against current Rams coach Jeff Fisher's Titans, Warner battled injuries and struggled to get back to the supernova levels he achieved from 1999-01. The Rams parted ways with him in 2003, he had a short stay in New York with the Giants, and then he revitalized his career in Arizona.

In the time since, Warner has remained active in the St. Louis community from a charitable standpoint but has made his home in Arizona. His visits to St. Louis have mostly been limited to quarterbacking the Cardinals or popping up at the Dome as part of his broadcast duties. Rarely have they included a stop at Rams Park.

But Warner has already been invited back to take part in the team's celebration of the 15-year anniversary of winning that Super Bowl against Tennessee. It's a memory near and dear to Warner but one that also feels distant.

“It does feel like it was a long time ago," Warner said. “I don’t know if it’s 15 years (ago). I feel too good to feel like I’m that old. But at the same time there’s a lot of great memories. To think back to then and to think that for me it really all started that year. And how magical that year was."

If Warner is able to make it back for that celebration, there are many who would like to see his name go into the team's Ring of Fame. It's a point of contention among his many fans that he hasn't already been honored when fellow Greatest Show on Turf members Isaac Bruce and Marshall Faulk have seen their numbers retired.

It's an honor Warner would, of course, enjoy and one he'll receive from the Cardinals when they open the season against San Diego on Sept. 8.

“What player would say, no, they wouldn’t like to see their name on a ring of honor in any facility?" Warner said. “But my career will never be defined by those things. Those aren’t things that I ever really think about. What a tremendous honor to think that an organization felt that you left a big enough impact that you should be kind of engrossed in their history.

"But those are just bonuses to everything that’s happened in my career. And like I said, I think so fondly of my time here, and this organization, and the opportunities that they gave me."

Of course, just because the Rams have yet to make such a move with Warner doesn't mean it won't happen eventually. While it hasn't been a hard and fast rule -- Bruce is an example of an exception -- the organization has generally preferred to limit such things to players with Hall of Fame distinction.

Coincidentally, that's another honor that could come Warner's way soon enough and pave the way for him to land in the Rams' version of the Ring of Honor. Warner is eligible for induction for the first time this year and while he might not make it on the first ballot, a straw poll of some voters makes it seem as if he will get in.

For now, Warner seemed content to simply reconnect with the fans who supported his rise to prominence and clearly still have love for him.

"The fans here have always been so supportive of me over the years, even since I left," Warner said. “I couldn’t be more grateful for the impact that they’ve had on my life, my family, our foundation. So it’s always fun to come back and have a chance to interact with the fans."
RENTON, Wash. -- If Seattle Seahawks running back Marshawn Lynch is looking at his holdout from a standpoint of financial losses, he might want to show up on Tuesday when the players return to the field after an off day Monday.

With the help of ESPN colleague John Clayton’s expertise of the collective bargaining agreement, here are the actual dollars Lynch stands to lose if his holdout continues into the middle of this week.

Lynch is incurring fines of $30,000 a day for each day he holds out. It’s up to the team’s discretion how they count those days, but camp officially started last Thursday. If the team counts the player’s off day Monday, Tuesday will be the sixth day of training camp.

Starting with the sixth day, a player is subject to losing 15 percent of his signing bonus. For Lynch, that’s $900,000. He was paid a $6 million bonus when he signed his four-year contract in 2012.

For each day he continues to hold out going forward, he can lose another 1 percent of his signing bonus ($60,000) for up to 25 percent of the total bonus. So if Lynch held out an additional 10 days, starting with Day 6 of camp, he would forfeit $1.5 million of his signing bonus.

Also, Lynch will lose one regular-season paycheck for each preseason game he misses -- not a preseason game check, a regular season check. For Lynch, that’s $312,500 lost for each preseason game he misses.

If he holds out for all four preseason games, Lynch would lose $1.25 million in regular-season game checks.

Starting to get the picture here? This is a very costly stand if Lynch decides to continue holding out.
Examining the San Francisco 49ers' roster:


Because of heavy competition elsewhere, the 49ers will likely only carry two quarterbacks. They finished last season that way. The competition will be to see if undrafted rookie Kory Faulkner can take McLeod Bethel-Thompson's spot on the practice squad.


The fact that the 49ers drafted Hyde in the second round and Lattimore is healthy means some tough decisions will have to be made. Kendall Hunter tore his ACL Friday and is out for the season. That means James has a better chance of making the roster.


The 49ers are so much deeper here this year than last. That means they will likely have to keep six receivers. Lloyd may look good and Patton has too much potential to give up on. That means it could be tough for Kassim Osgood to make it even though he is a special teams cog.


I can't see the 49ers keeping more than three tight ends because of the glut at receiver. Unless Garrett Celek has a big camp, he may be in trouble. Carrier intrigues the 49ers because of his size and speed.


Assuming Boone ends his holdout, this is a pretty nice group of eight players. It's improved from last year. A solid veteran like Adam Snyder and a promising youngster like Ryan Seymour will have trouble making the team.


This is another power spot. It's deep. Players like Jerod-Eddie and Dial are too valuable to cut. Ramsey has looked good and I have a hunch the 49ers may like him too much to expose him to the waiver wire. That means Demarcus Dobbs could be in trouble.


Most teams carry six linebackers but the 49ers are stacked here, especially with NaVorro Bowman out for about half the season. Because fifth-round pick Lynch is promising he should make the roster. Dan Skuta is an excellent player, but there might not be any room for him. I could see him being one of those later-summer Trent Baalke trade specials because he has value.


This unit is in flux, but I see Johnson making it. Don't be surprised if there is some in-camp jockeying as the 49ers look for the best mix.


Ward, the 49ers' first-round pick, will play nickel cornerback as a rookie, but projects long term as a safety. Ventrone and Spillman should stick because they are great on special teams. Craig Dahl could be in trouble.


This group is set and it's excellent.
Examining the Seattle Seahawks' roster:


The first two spots are locked with Wilson and Jackson as his backup, but the third QB spot is a battle between Pryor and B.J. Daniels. Pryor has the advantage because of his size and speed, but he still has to prove he deserves a roster spot.


Lynch is holding out because of changes he wants in his contract. He didn't participate in any of the offseason workouts. Both Michael and Turbin have looked good with the additional reps. Look for Lynch to return soon, but Michael and Turbin are going to carry a bigger share of the load this season.


Coleman and Ware are converted running backs, and the Seahawks might see Ware as more of a running back now. The only true fullback is rookie Kiero Small (5-foot-8, 250 pounds), who could beat out Ware but will likely start the season on the practice squad.


Four of these spots are set -- Harvin, Baldwin, Kearse and Richardson, the rookie speedster from Colorado. But 10 players are vying for the final two spots. Norwood, a rookie from Alabama, has looked sensational, so placing him on the practice squad would be a big risk. Lockette's ability to contribute on special teams, along with his speed, gives him a good chance to make it.


McCoy returns after missing all of last season with a torn Achilles tendon. Free agent rookie Rashaun Allen and third-year player Cooper Helfet will battle McCoy for the third spot.


The one starting battle is at right tackle between Bowie and rookie Britt, but Britt is getting all the first-team reps because Bowie has a bruised shoulder. Rookie tackles Garry Gilliam and Nate Isles, along with rookie guard Bronson Irwin, have a chance to make the practice squad.


This will be a great battle to watch. A surprise cut is coming here. Jordan Hill, the second-year player from Penn State, might be fighting second-year DT Jesse Williams for a spot, but Williams has to prove he’s healthy. Signing Kevin Williams before minicamp was a major addition to the rotation at defensive tackle. Scruggs’ return after missing last season will help the depth at defensive end. The Seahawks are high on UCLA rookie defensive end Marsh, who also can play inside. Rookie Jimmy Staten probably goes to the practice squad, and free agent rookie Jackson Jeffcoat of Texas is the player who could sneak in here with a great preseason showing.

Bruce Irvin (hip surgery) and Toomer (hamstring injury) are on the physically unable to perform list. Whether either player will be ready to start the season is hard to say. I'm assuming Irvin starts the season on injured reserve. Smith also is recovering from ankle surgery, leaving he team thin, for now, at OLB. Pierre-Louis is a super-fast rookie who will contribute a lot on special teams this season. O'Brien Schofield is on the bubble as an outside linebacker/defensive end.


Another tough cut is coming here. Phillip Adams has looked good, and he can return kicks. Lane will start as the nickelback and Shead can play corner and safety. Simon, who missed his rookie year last season with injuries, has impressed everyone in the offseason workouts.


Johnson probably is the first backup at both safety spots. Chancellor is still recovering from offseason hip surgery. Rookie Eric Pinkins might spend the season on IR after injuring his foot. USC rookie Bailey is the surprise pick here. He has played well and probably is battling Terrance Parks for a roster spot.


These spots are set unless an injury occurs.