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Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Around the NFC West: Niners consider tackle

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee checks in with 49ers free agents Billy Bajema and Donald Strickland. Bajema is visiting the Rams. Which reminds me of another visit. The Seahawks met with 49ers free agent tackle Damane Duckett. Probably just a look-see.

Also from Barrows: The 49ers plan to meet with free-agent tackle Marvel Smith.

Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat says Smith's visit comes after the 49ers informed Jonas Jennings that he would not return to the team in 2009. Back injuries have limited Smith in recent seasons. The 49ers have gotten their fill of injury-prone right tackles -- Jennings comes to mind -- but Smith is worth a look anyway.

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams' former starting center, Nick Leckey, has signed with the Saints. Leckey is a solid backup. The Rams wound up needing him to start for longer than anticipated. They responded this offseason by signing Jason Brown in free agency. That made Leckey and fellow center Brett Romberg expendable. Romberg signed with the Falcons.

Also from Thomas: The Rams are pretty much done in free agency, unless a player comes available unexpectedly. As for the Rams looking at Jay Cutler? Thomas: "I guess he's a Field General if your definition of Field General includes whining like a baby when you catch wind of a possible trade for a player that happens to play your position. Memo to Jay Cutler: You're in the big leagues now, kiddo. Competition is what it's all about in the NFL, and you're always subject to being replaced, there's always someone waiting to take your job. Besides, what exactly has Cutler accomplished that he has earned the right to be so upset about a trade that didn't happen?"

Jeff Gordon of stltoday.com says Rams quarterback Marc Bulger is starting over, again -- this time without an established receiver.

Tom Curran of nbcsports.com says former Rams tackle Orlando Pace plans to visit the Ravens.

Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune cites reports suggesting Seahawks free-agent fullback Leonard Weaver is close to signing with the Bucs, Vikings or Seahawks. I didn't think Bobby Engram would find an acceptable deal before Weaver. Weaver presumably didn't see that coming, either.

John Morgan of Field Gulls takes a look at Cory Redding's performance against the Falcons last season. First impressions were favorable. Morgan: "He's also a lot of fun to watch. Detroit aligned Redding on both the right and left, but played him almost exclusively over the 'B' gap in the '3' tech. I'm not wild about jargon. Basically, Redding's job is to run through the space between the guard and tackle and into the backfield."

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com says Clark Haggans' return to the Cardinals made sense even though the team could stand to add younger prospects at linebacker. Urban: "No one outworks Haggans [who was down there this morning with a handful of teammates working out with strength and conditioning coach John Lott]. It will be good to have him there to aid with the transition to new defensive coordinator [and former linebackers coach] Bill Davis."