The NFL released dates and times for 2013 exhibition games, pushing back the final entry in our series examining NFC West offseasons. A few thoughts:
Rams: The opener at Cleveland carries one big what-if scenario. What if the Browns had succeeded in their efforts to outbid Washington for the second pick in the 2012 draft? The Rams wound up trading that pick to the Redskins for a package that continues replenishing their roster. The Browns, meanwhile, missed out on Robert Griffin III. Later, on Aug. 29, former Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo returns to the Edward Jones Dome as a member of the Baltimore Ravens' staff.
49ers: They face Peyton Manning and Alex Smith in the first two weeks of the preseason. They also have only four days between their third and fourth exhibition games. That could affect playing-time allotments.
Seahawks: Manning, who ignored the Seahawks' advances in free agency last offseason, can expect a few postgame questions regarding his thinking. The situation worked out pretty well for all involved, as things turned out.
Cardinals: Former coach Ken Whisenhunt, fired after six seasons with the team, visits University of Phoenix Stadium on Aug. 24 as the San Diego Chargers' offensive coordinator.