Thursday, March 4, 2010
Around the NFC West: Carr, Foote, more
By Mike Sando
Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says the Cardinals haven't revealed their plans for free agency. He says the team could sign David Carr to back up Matt Leinart. I wonder if former Steelers linebacker Larry Foote could be a better fit in Arizona than he was in Detroit. Foote's background in a 3-4 defense could give him more value in Arizona, particularly with the team possibly losing Karlos Dansby this offseason.
Also from Somers: a look at the team's moves regarding restricted free agents.
Darren Urban of azcardinals.com thinks the quarterback job is Leinart's to lose. Urban: "I believe this is Leinart’s job to lose rather than an open competition, whomever the Cards sign. Carr I think could be a solid backup, a guy with whom you can be comfortable if Leinart gets hurt (or, knock on wood, Leinart falters). Again, I think the Cards have to give Leinart a little bit of a leash, though, and give him a chance to play through a couple of ups and downs."
Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams are "still trying to decide what to do with four restricted free agents: safety Oshiomogho Atogwe, safety Craig Dahl, tight end Daniel Fells and defensive tackle Gary Gibson. In some of those cases, league sources say the Rams are trying to sign the players to long-term deals."
Howard Balzer of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat says it's unlikely another team would give up a second-round choice to have Alex Barron for only one season. Balzer: "It is possible the Rams would accept less than a second-round pick, but in any case the new team would likely have to be willing to sign Barron to a long-term deal since he will be unrestricted after 2010 if he played for the tender. It is unlikely a team would give up an early pick in the draft to have Barron for just one season. However, it doesn’t mean that Barron won’t be on the Rams next season. If there is no deal the Rams find satisfactory, he would likely at least go to training camp as the right tackle, with Jason Smith on the left side. And, a trade could be made at any time."
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee has the 49ers selecting tackle Trent Williams and running back C.J. Spiller in his latest mock draft.
Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat explains why he thinks the 49ers would not select Spiller with the 13th or 17th overall choices. Maiocco: "The 49ers are not going to take a running back at No. 13 or No. 17 overall if they do not believe he will be an every-down back. Frank Gore is their every-down back right now. He is signed through 2011. The belief with the 49ers is that (Glen) Coffee can be an every-down back. C.J. Spiller (196 pounds) of Clemson could be a great change-of-pace back as a rookie. He could handle the return duties. He could be a valuable asset, no question. But there is some question if he could be the every-down guy."
Also from Maiocco: a look at the 49ers' free agents. On Dre Bly: "He was signed in an emergency after Harris’ season-ending injury. Even though the 11-year veteran started the final six games, Bly does not have the kind of size the 49ers want in a cornerback. The 49ers will likely look to get younger and bigger at this position."
Brian McIntyre of Scout.com sizes up the Seahawks' restricted free agents. On Chris Spencer: "Voluntarily reducing draft choice compensation for Spencer may prompt a team that views him as a starting center to sign him to an offer sheet. It may also signal to other teams that Spencer is available via trade, perhaps for a 2010 third-round pick, which Seattle presently does not have."
Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times does not expect the Seahawks to go "hog wild" in free agency despite having a wealthy owner and no salary cap this offseason. I think Seattle is a bit of a wild card. Might the team spring for a high-profile free agent to jump-start the Pete Carroll era and give the team additional flexibility in the draft?
Eric D. Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune also thinks Seattle will lay low during free agency. Williams: "With new coach Pete Carroll and general manager John Schneider calling the shots, and the Seahawks holding three of the first 40 picks in the draft, expect Seattle’s dabbles in free agency to be more about value and less about enticing top-tier talent to the Northwest as they attempt to revamp the roster."
John Morgan of Field Gulls thinks the Seahawks should have named Nate Burleson their franchise player. Morgan: "It would fill an immediate need without tying the team to a contract they could regret. He may not be worth the initial value, but, again, that's immaterial. Burleson is not worth $9.52 million in a vacuum, he's worth $9.52 million for Seattle in 2010."