|ESPN.com: NFC West||[Print without images]|
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says the Cardinals have revived contract talks with Adrian Wilson and Karlos Dansby in recent days. Reaching agreement with Wilson would send a positive message through the locker room while Anquan Boldin and Darnell Dockett try to force trades.
Also from Somers: Former Cardinals pass-rusher Travis LaBoy could miss the 2009 season after opting for ankle surgery. Somers: "LaBoy played through a series of injuries last year, including a torn biceps muscle, which required surgery at the end of the season. LaBoy also had the issue with an ankle, and there apparently was some disagreement among doctors about treatment. One thought LaBoy could play in 2009, while others thought surgery was the better option. LaBoy has opted for surgery."
Darren Urban of azcardinals.com thinks re-signing Dansby will be nearly impossible. Urban: "Dansby gets almost $10 million this season as is and if he avoids injury, he thinks he can hit the jackpot as a free agent next offseason. In reality, this will be his lone chance to be a big-time free agent, and sometimes I think Dansby also wants a chance to be the center of attention in a free-agent battle, besides just getting the money."
Tom Marino of Scout.com evaluates the Cardinals' 2009 draft class. Marino: "If physically sound, the Cardinals got an absolute steal at pick number 31, drafting Ohio State' Chris Wells. The birds might have reached some, but Cody Brown is a tough individual who showed wide rush skills. I thought Rashad Johnson, although undersized, was as impressive a safety as I viewed all season."
Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat offers thoughts on every member of the 49ers' roster. He says the Niners are "still convinced" Alex Smith is going to be a "pretty good" starting quarterback. I'll have a few more thoughts on Smith later in the day. Also, Vernon Davis has become one of Mike Singletary's favorite players, while Kentwan Balmer has reduced his body fat percentage in an effort to step up his game.
Marino on the 49ers' draft: "In Michael Crabtree, the 49ers drafted the top receiving prospect since Randy Moss with the 10th pick in the draft."
Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times summarizes T.J. Houshmandzadeh's comments to KJR radio in Seattle. Houshmandzadeh: "Everybody stays healthy, ah man, we're going to be something special. The talent we have on this team and then coach [Jim] Mora brings everything together just right. Cool dude. Not because I just got there, but everything I've seen from Jim Mora has showed me that we're going to be really good just the way he relates to the players. ... I can't wait to smack some people in the face. They didn't put us on TV so when we start running through everybody like a wet paper bag, don't flex us in late in the season when we're the best. Don't flex us in, we'll have our coming-out party in the playoffs."
John Morgan of Field Gulls likes what he sees in studying Aaron Curry against Boston College.
Marino on the Seahawks' draft: "You could have penciled Aaron Curry in as a starter about a minute after the Seahawks made the selection; he is a every down player and in a word, special. He is going to have to improve his core strength, but all Max Unger is going to do is start for about a dozen years. Deon Butler is a playmaker, although he is undersized and I felt his hands were just adequate."
Jeff Gordon of stltoday.com defends the Rams' decision to select Jason Smith with the second overall choice, even if Smith doesn't become a left tackle. Gordon: "[Steve] Spagnuolo wants to pound the ball on the ground. Tackle was still a top need, left or right, once [Orlando] Pace left. And Jackson will run behind the right tackle. Smith is considered an excellent run blocker. In time, Smith could move to the left side. Or, if [Alex] Barron comes around, perhaps he could stay where he is. But he offers a massive upgrade over Adam Goldberg."
Bill Coats of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch checks in with Rams tight end Randy McMichael, who missed much of last season after suffering a broken leg. McMichael: "You really take [success] for granted until you don't have it. I'm just glad to be back out here with these guys." McMichael, the most accomplished receiver on the roster, thinks he'll benefit from playing in a West Coast-style offense.
Marino on the Rams' draft: "I really like the selection of Clemson's Darell Scott in round four and inside receiving prospect Brooks Foster in round five. The selection of Keith Null was a surprise [I would have pushed for Graham Harrell with this selection], but overall I felt the Rams made some real strides at upgrading their football club."