NFC West coasting through free agency so far

March, 1, 2009
3/01/09
8:10
PM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

The breathless opening days of free agency have sent four unrestricted free agents to NFC West teams. Let's step back from the excitement to take inventory.

  • The 49ers have added a 30-year-old fullback coming off an 0-16 season with the Lions and a wide receiver with nine career touchdown receptions. Extra credit for all non-49ers fans who can name them without help.
  • The Seahawks have added a 28-year-old defensive tackle with seven career starts. Not a single person asked me about him before the signing period.
  • The Rams made the most waves in the division by adding ... a center! Short of a LeCharles Bentley situation, Jason Brown is going to help the Rams. I like the move. But he is still a center.
  • As for the Cardinals? They haven't added anyone.

And to think, we approached this signing period the way we always approach them, by wondering whether the teams we follow might be the movers and shakers this offseason.

The Seahawks could still land T.J. Houshmandzadeh. The 49ers are holding out hope for signing Kurt Warner. The Cardinals might land Bryant McFadden. But if those moves do not happen, free agency will have been mostly a bore around here. And that's fine. Teams waste money in free agency. The teams that sit out free agency, particularly its early stages, generally emerge without regrets.

To this point, the NFC West is the only division without a single trade since the signing period opened Friday. The division still has 51 unrestricted free agents. Two of them -- Seahawks offensive tackle Ray Willis and Rams cornerback Ron Bartell -- haven't found the riches they were surely hoping to encounter. That is also good for the division. Willis and Bartell are promising younger players who still might help their teams in the future.

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