Around the NFC West: Free agency under way
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic takes a big-picture look at the Cardinals in free agency. The team isn't saying whether it plans to strike aggressively. Meanwhile, Kurt Warner's agent says the quarterback will listen to other teams.
Scott Bordow of the East Valley Tribune uses the words crazy, ridiculous and unnerving to describe the Cardinals' standoff with Warner. Bordow: "Usually, it's easy to take sides in a contract negotiation. But in this case, both Warner and the Cardinals are standing on solid ground."
Revenge of the Birds' Hawkwind outlines which offensive free agents Arizona should re-sign, with predictions for each player.
Also from Hawkwind: a look at the Cardinals' running backs.
John Crumpacker of the San Francisco Chronicle updates the 49ers' negotiations with quarterback Alex Smith. Crumpacker: "If the 49ers truly are not going to make a splash in free agency as McCloughan said, the kinds of players they might be interested in include tackle Stacy Andrews of the Bengals, fullback (and former 49er) Moran Norris of the Ravens, wide receiver Devery Henderson of the Saints, safety Jermaine Phillips of the Buccaneers and safety Sean Jones of Cleveland."
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee says Smith will not practice with the 49ers until he reworks his deal. Barrows: "The 49ers do not want to risk another injury to Smith that would force the team to pay him his full salary. If a new deal is not complete by next month, the 49ers will hold Smith out of the minicamp, and he will fall behind in the quarterback competition against incumbent starter Shaun Hill."
Daniel Brown of the San Jose Mercury News says Mike Singletary isn't the only important figure in a leadership role with the 49ers. Brown: "A sliver of spotlight must remain on general manager Scot McCloughan, who quietly enters his fifth season still searching for a winning roster."
Florida Danny of Niners Nation takes an in-depth look at free-agent safeties, with an eye toward the positions they've played in the past. On Mark Roman: "He's the only starting FS in the NFL who was signed as a free agent SS, started initially at SS with his current team, but then got moved to FS later. In other words, the Niners are the only current team that didn't intend to switch their free agent SS to FS when they signed him. How's that for planning?"
Flashback: what espn.com wrote about Roman when the 49ers re-signed him in 2006.
Clare Farnsworth of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer looks at the Seahawks' search for receivers. Farnsworth on T.J. Houshmandzadeh: "The Seahawks are interested, but at the right price and if he's the right fit. They're anticipating a productive return by Nate Burleson from the knee injury he suffered in the season opener and hoping to get a full season from Deion Branch."
Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times takes a big-picture look at Seattle in free agency.
Also from O'Neil: a look at receivers available in free agency.
The Associated Press quotes longtime Seattle receiver Bobby Engram on the likelihood of him returning to the Seahawks. Engram: "I wouldn't say optimistic. It's going to be interesting how it turns out."
Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune lists and comments upon each of the Seahawks' unrestricted free agents. He predicts a return for Engram.
John Morgan of Field Gulls looks at Raiders receiver Drew Carter as a potential acquisition for the Seahawks.
Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch thinks the Lions and Broncos could have interest in free-agent Rams cornerback Ron Bartell. A visit to the Saints could come first.
Also from Thomas: Free-agent center Jason Brown is scheduled to visit the Rams.
Steve Korte of the Belleville News-Democrat says the Rams' decision to release Drew Bennett should serve as a warning about the perils of free agency.
VanRam of Turf Show Times rounds up Rams-related stories online.