Good morning, and thanks to those who offered well wishes as our family drove back to Washington from California following a visit to see my father-in-law. His health has improved in recent days, and we made it back safely.
Thursday was mostly quiet in the NFC West, save for the Seattle Seahawks' re-signing of linebackers Leroy Hill and Matt McCoy. We're to the point in free agency where most of the re-signings feel more like a matter of when, not if. Players have few attractive options at this point. These will mostly be one-year deals with relatively modest compensation.
Clark Haggans and Vonnie Holliday are two candidates to re-sign with Arizona, for example.
The earlier players sign, the more fully they can participate in voluntary offseason programs. The St. Louis Rams and other teams with new head coaches began their programs on April 2. The other teams can begin Monday.
Darren Urban of azcardinals.com previews the Cardinals' offseason program. Urban: "Quarterback Kevin Kolb will be here. I’ve already gotten a bunch of questions about what Kolb has been doing with teammates. I don’t think it’s been anything yet, but the vast majority of players haven’t yet. That'll change now (the new rules allow QBs to throw to receivers without defenders the next couple of weeks before things morph again.) I don’t know why some question if Kolb will be willing to put in the work this offseason. I expect it, and as I had mentioned before, I think it will help him when it comes to how he plays this season."
Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch updates the Rams' free-agent picture after the team signed former Philadelphia Eagles backup defensive tackle Trevor Laws. Thomas on Jacob Bell, who left the Rams for Cincinnati recently: "Bell spent his first four seasons playing for Jeff Fisher in Tennessee, and for a while hoped to re-sign with the Rams and play for him in St. Louis as well. But the Rams never showed more than lukewarm interest in re-signing Bell, who was athletic and played pretty well in space, but occasionally got overpowered by bigger defenders. It's not clear where Bell will play next since since another Bengals free-agent signee, Travelle Wharton, also is primarily a left guard."
Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com looks at four interior offensive linemen the San Francisco 49ers could consider selecting with the 30th overall choice in the upcoming draft. Wisconsin's Peter Konz, Iowa State's Kelechi Osemele, Midwestern State's Amini Silatolu and Wisconsin's Kevin Zeitler were the four prospects. Maiocco on Silatolu, a player Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. recently referenced in relation to the 49ers: "He dominated at the NCAA Division II level as a left tackle. He'll be a guard in the NFL. His good feet and willingness to play to the whistle are attributes that make him worthy of a late-first or second-round pick."
Clare Farnsworth of seahawks.com has this to say about Matt McCoy's re-signing with Seattle: "McCoy led the Seahawks with 19 special-teams tackles in 2010, his first season with the team. McCoy, also 29, had three special-teams tackles and also was being used as a situational linebacker last season before having season-ending knee surgery after just four games."
Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times lists dates and times for the Seahawks' exhibitions, beginning with an Aug. 11 matchup against Matt Hasselbeck and the Tennessee Titans. They also play Denver on Aug. 18, Kansas City on Aug. 24, and Oakland on Aug. 30.