Around the NFC West: GM on Atogwe

June, 7, 2010
6/07/10
7:45
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Howard Balzer of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat says there have been no indications Oshiomogho Atogwe has made progress toward a contract. Rams general manager Billy Devaney on whether hard feelings could make it tough to bring back the safety: "I don’t think that’s the case. He was probably disappointed, but he understood the business part of it. ... O.J. knows how we feel about him. We are a better team with him here. Our hope is that after he tests the market, he will come back to us. We’re trying to get to a happy medium." Balzer: "Devaney acknowledged that if another team came forward with a huge offer, the Rams would likely be moving on without him, but so far, that hasn’t been the case."

Bill Coats of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says early returns on Sam Bradford are positive even though coach Steve Spagnuolo pointed to a few passes that "sailed" in recent practices. Said receiver Brooks Foster, who caught a perfectly delivered pass from Bradford for a 15-yard gain: "I've never been around anyone like that. He throws a real good ball, puts a nice touch on it for the receiver. ... Everything that you hear about him is true." Bradford continues to work with the backups in practice, typical for a Rams rookie under Spagnuolo. Note: This item also includes a photo showing Bradford throwing out the first pitch at a recent St. Louis Cardinals game.

Kevin King of The Associated Press says Bradford's pitch was on the money and caught by another Oklahoman, Matt Holliday. King: "Bradford, who was selected by the Rams with the number one overall pick in April's NFL Draft, wore a number 8 Cardinals baseball jersey, the same number he'll wear when the football season rolls around."

Clare Farnsworth of seahawks.com addresses several subjects during his latest mailbag, including one about how the Seahawks are shaking out at defensive end. Red Bryant, Lawrence Jackson and sometimes Robert Henderson are working ahead of rookie E.J. Wilson at the 5-technique spot. Chris Clemons, Nick Reed and sometimes Ricky Foley are working ahead of rookie Dexter Davis at the "Leo" spot, known elsewhere as the "Elephant" role. Farnsworth on Wilson and Davis: "How have they looked in practice? Like what they are -- rookies. Each has had his moments, but the key will be how consistent they play when the pads come on in training camp practices and especially the preseason games. Davis has the best chance to help increase the sack total, because of the position he is playing and due to the fact that he had 31 sacks in 50 games at Arizona State."

Jackie Epstein and Peter Badel of the Melbourne Sun Herald say the Seahawks are the latest NFL team to show interest in Greg Inglis of the Melbourne Storm, an Australian rugby team.

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com says Cardinals players appreciated coach Ken Whisenhunt's decision to take the team bowling instead of making them practice Friday. Cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie: "They pound us so much with football, football, football. Just to get our mind off football and interact as a team and still have that togetherness, it’s a plus. You’re doing something fun. Everybody loves bowling." Practicing without an indoor facility can be rough in the Phoenix area, where temperatures have approached 110 degrees in recent days. Urban: "The Cards have endured significant roster churn this offseason, but the players have been working together -- between the offseason conditioning program and on-field work -- fairly consistently since the end of March. That’s helped bonding. But events like Friday, where the players can get together and not have it be about football, helps from a different angle."

Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com says during a recent chat that the NFL's labor situation could contribute to the team taking a wait-and-see approach toward new contracts with Dashon Goldson and others. Maiocco: "Goldson is entering the fourth and final year of his original rookie contract. A lot of his situation depends on the new CBA. Currently, players need six years to become unrestricted free agents. So, under the current deal, they'd have rights to him for two more seasons. They're not going to pay him Rolle-type money, so they have to just let the thing play out and see what happens with the CBA." Unlike Goldson, Antrel Rolle was a free agent coming off a Pro Bowl appearance when he struck a rich payday with the Giants. Rolle was also a top-10 draft choice. The 49ers would be in a tougher spot if Goldson were about to become a free agent.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee looks at potential storylines heading into 49ers' practices, which resume Monday. Barrows on the situation at center: "Four players have gotten the chance the snap the ball in OTAs so far: Eric Heitmann, David Baas, Tony Wragge and Cody Wallace. Heitmann is the starter. The question is: Who will back him up this season? Last year, Wallace was the backup center, but that's definitely not a sure thing this season."

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