Thursday, July 15, 2010
Around the NFC West: Leinart's leash
By Mike Sando
Pete Prisco of CBSSports.com says he can "sense" that Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt would not hesitate in benching Matt Leinart if the quarterback struggled this season. That is why the team signed Derek Anderson, presumably. Whisenhunt: "Seeing Kurt (Warner) work has had a big impact on Matt. Any time a player like Kurt works like he does, and has that success, it's going to rub off. Matt's done a nice job. He's had a good spring." Warner will go into the regular season as the starter unless he blows it or unless Anderson becomes an obviously superior option. This season marks the Cardinals' last realistic chance to take a long look at the player they drafted 10th overall in 2006. That doesn't mean Leinart gets a free pass, but there's no point in quitting on him prematurely, either. If Leinart falls apart, it's easy to make a change at that time.
The Arizona Republic says the Cardinals have signed fifth-round choice John Skelton to a four-year contract. The team released safety Herana Daze-Jones to make room for Skelton on the roster. Last week, the Cardinals cleared a roster spot by moving Warner onto the reserve/retired list.
Darren Urban of azcardinals.com says linebacker Clark Haggans found time to advance his radio career before a recent workout.
Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com says the 49ers have until Thursday to sign nose tackle Aubrayo Franklin to a long-term deal. After that, Franklin can sign only the one-year offer San Francisco made to him as a franchise player. The 49ers were never expected to sign Franklin to a long-term deal this offseason because they wanted to see him put together more than one impressive season. I think waiting is the right approach. Also from Maiocco: "As for the supplemental draft . . . there are four players who have declared: running backs Harvey Unga (BYU), Vanness Emokpae (Truman State) and Quentin Castille (Northwestern State, by way of Nebraska), and defensive tackle Josh Price-Brent (Illinois). Unga and Price-Brent are the most likely to be selected. Of course, the 49ers have scouted each of these players. Every team in the league has scouted each of these players. But I don't expect the 49ers to get involved in the activity. The 49ers have not been players in the supplemental draft since 1986, when they selected running back Roosevelt Snipes (Florida State) in the eighth round."
Jason LaCanfora of NFL.com says there is "no chance" the 49ers will sign Franklin to a long-term deal by Thursday.
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee says the 49ers' Joe Staley and Alex Smith are taking part in soccer-related activities in advance of the team's Halloween game in London.
Taylor Price of 49ers.com offers a photo of 49ers tight end Vernon Davis meeting with a reporter in London.
Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times says Seahawks linebacker Leroy Hill made another court appearance Wednesday.
Also from O'Neil: He wouldn't be shocked if Terrell Owens wound up in Seattle.
Ben Malcolmson of seahawks.com profiles tight ends coach Pat McPherson. Turns out a Time magazine article on Jim Carrey in the 1990s helped convince McPherson to follow his passion, football, instead of seeking to earn a more conventional living as an accountant. Malcolmson: "In 1996 as he was close to completing his MBA at Santa Clara University, McPherson went in to interview for an accountant position at a firm in the Bay Area. Problem was, he was stuck in the lobby waiting for the interviewer to call him in. While killing time, McPherson picked up a Time magazine sitting on the stand next to his chair and read a feature about Carrey, who grew up with a father who was passionate about music but did an accounting job to pay the bills." Carrey's father wound up being fired, leading Carrey to decide "life’s too short to not do what you’re passionate about."
John Morgan of Field Gulls saw a gifted receiver with shortcomings as a blocker when looking back on John Carlson's 2009 season with the Seahawks.
Turf Show Times' VanRam looks at potential breakout players for the Rams, ranking receiver Donnie Avery, Chris Long and Laurent Robinson atop the list. All three should get extensive playing time, which is the most important variable for any player. Avery and Robinson have had a hard time staying healthy, however. Long is an obvious choice based on how he played last season.
ESPN's Adam Schefter expects the Rams and quarterback Sam Bradford's agent to being negotiations with a face-to-face meeting Friday. Schefter: "Whenever Bradford signs -- and nobody expects him to miss much, if any, training camp -- the deal will include the most guaranteed money in an NFL contract."