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Thursday, July 23, 2009
Around the NFC West: Boldin on back burner

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says the Cardinals are "at least several weeks away" from negotiating a new contract for receiver Anquan Boldin. Somers: "[GM Rod] Graves traditionally has refrained from negotiating contract extensions until the regular season is well under way. By doing that, he can see the makeup of the final roster and take care of personnel moves necessitated by injuries. Also, Graves downplayed the team's interest in free agent offensive tackle Levi Jones. The Cardinals last talked to Jones' agent in May."

Also from Somers: Graves anticipates smooth negotiations with first-round choice Beanie Wells.

More from Somers: a look at the quarterback situation in Arizona. What if the team lost Kurt Warner to injury? Somers: "My guess is the Cardinals could survive if [Matt] Leinart had to play. The offensive schemes might change a bit, because no one sees the field as well as Warner or is as accurate when throwing under pressure. Would the offense be as explosive without Warner? Probably not. But Leinart is smart enough to get the ball to his talented corps of receivers."

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com offers a few notes, including one about Boldin's high school naming a stadium after him. Urban, following up a previous item, also thinks it'll be tough for Early Doucet or Brandon Keith to break through this season. 

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says Ronald Curry brings needed experience to the Rams. Thomas: "One veteran NFL personnel man, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said Curry -- who turned 30 on May 28 -- has lost a step, but is still more than simply a possession receiver."

Will of ramsherd.com weighs in on the Curry trade: "Even if Curry does not become a world-beater, his mere presence -- and a healthy 50 or more catches, with a handful of end zone grabs -- could go a long way toward stabilizing this offense, and fueling hopes for the 2009 season."

Tim Klutsarits of examiner.com says Curry's size differentiates him from most receivers on the Rams' roster. Tim Klutsarits: "I will give credit to the Rams that they are looking to make some moves with the wide receiver position and maybe you can catch some lightning in a bottle with Curry. The problem of course is that the Rams don't have any real established receivers and there are not really any great options just hanging around on the waiver wire for the Rams to fix the problem."

Kevin Lynch of Niner Insider sizes up the 49ers' situation at cornerback, wondering whether Shawntae Spencer can recover from knee surgery well enough to challenge for playing time. He also notes that the 49ers aren't carrying a cornerback shorter than 5-foot-10, reflecting a philosophy general manager Scot McCloughan learned from mentor Ron Wolf. I can't recall off the top of my head the last 49ers defensive back shorter than 5-10. Can you?

David Fucillo of Niners Nation consults Football Outsiders in trying to figure out Michael Crabtree's projected production for 2009. Seeing Crabtree practice with the 49ers and play in exhibition games will certainly help.

John Morgan of Field Gulls on the injury situation at linebacker for Seattle. The team appears healthy at the position.

Jim Moore, writing for Sports Northwest, checks in with Seahawks receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh. Quarterback Matt Hasselbeck: "He's very physical. If you get one-on-one man coverage, he's a big-body receiver. He knows how to set a guy up. He knows how to create separation. He definitely has kind of a swagger about him. When the ball's in the air, he expects that it's his ball, and so far, he's come down with it most times. I'm still learning him. We're probably still learning each other a little bit, but I think so far, he's been everything we expected him to be."