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Thursday, March 18, 2010
Chat wrap: 49ers leadership questions

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

The latest NFC West chat transcript is available. Highlights below:
Dennis (San Jose): Mike, Do you think that Eddie DeBartolo's influence with Jed York is part of Scott McCloughan's possibly stepping down as 49er GM? Eddie was pretty demanding even of Bill Walsh in his quest for a constant winner, and Scott, even though he is a pretty good evaluator of talent in the early rounds, has not been that dynamic and forcefull in his handling of the QB situation and being active in trade situations.

Mike Sando: Highly doubtful. It just strikes me has highly unlikely that an NFL team would force out its general manager over philosophical differences a month before the draft. Seems more likely there would be some sort of personal reasons that could include anything from a family crisis to who knows what. Parting with a GM for any other reason would be too disruptive.

Ben (Portland): Sando, love the blog. I've got a couple of questions about the Whitehurst deal. Is the sky falling? Do you think we signed Zoltar because we didn't expect Bradford/Clausen at No. 6 or didn't want them? Is there any question that "The Hair" has better tools and mechanics than anybody we could have selected after the first round?

Mike Sando: My theory goes like this. The Seahawks saw Charlie Whitehurst and Kevin Kolb as the only veteran backups worth pursuing as potential starters via trade. They saw Sam Bradford and Jimmy Clausen as the only potential franchise quarterbacks in this draft. They weren't sure Bradford or Clausen would be there when they picked sixth overall. They probably thought Whitehurst had more "upside" than Derek Anderson. The Cardinals were also interested in Whitehurst over Anderson. Seattle wound up paying a premium for protection at the QB position.

Nick (San Diego): Hey Mike, I always enjoy your column. What do you think about the new FA vets added to the Rams? Any more on the Willie Parker acquisition? In your eyes, are the Rams a team (young) built for the future?

Mike Sando: Thanks, Nick. Hank Fraley should provide better depth inside on the line. Same for Fred Robbins on defense. I agree that the Rams needed to add some seasoning. Neither one of those guys is going to be an impact player. Same for A.J. Feeley. These are veteran role players. Every team needs them, but the Rams need front-line talent. I like some of the things they've done to address their offensive line. Emerging from this draft with a franchise quarterback would signal more clearly that the Rams are set up for the future. They remain in the early stages elsewhere on the roster. As for Willie Parker, he is visiting the Rams and the team does need a backup running back. I'm not sure what he has left. Injuries have been a problem. The move would not be particularly exciting, but Parker is probably a better option than the Samkon Gados and Kenneth Darbys of the world.

SprungOnSports (Long Island): Any word on where Joey Porter will end up? Arizona could really use him.

Mike Sando: I don't think the Cardinals are sweating this one too much, and neither is the rest of the league. Someone recently reached out to me and ripped the Cardinals for failing to pay Porter. I noted that 31 other teams had also failed to pay him. Porter has to know his role for his signing to make sense. His salary is going to define that role. I don't blame Arizona and the other NFL teams for proceeding with some caution. All the peripheral things with Porter are easier to handle if he's an elite player. The consensus right now, obviously, is that Porter is no longer an elite player even though he had 9.0 sacks last season.

Stay tuned on the 49ers front. The team would seemingly have to comment at some point.