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Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Around the NFC West: Palmer and Cards

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic looks at quarterback trade options for the Arizona Cardinals. Somers on Carson Palmer: "There are two issues. How much would the Cardinals be willing to give up for a quarterback whose best years might be behind him? Is Palmer the next Kurt Warner: a good quarterback in need of the right situation? If the Bengals are willing to trade Palmer, what will they want in return? Arizona would be a good fit for Palmer, who reportedly wants to return to the West. My guess is that Palmer would have to be willing to restructure his contract."

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com sees the potential for significant roster churn in Arizona this offseason. Urban: "That probably shouldn’t be a shock after a 5-11 season. Churning the bottom of the roster always is possible after every season, and with so many free-agents-to-be NFL-wide, it may be even more likely this offseason (once the CBA is determined). What that will mean specifically for the Cards is impossible to know. They’ve already plotted out free agency — they, like every team, needed to be ready by last weekend when free agency was originally supposed to start — and have players targeted. Does that mean current players would be on the backburner in case replacements are signed? Sure it could. It will also be interesting to see the demand on certain lower-tier players in a flooded market."

Also from Urban: Cardinals safety Matt Ware has played through diabetes.

Clare Farnsworth of seahawks.com looks at projected draft choices for the team with the 25th overall choice. Rob Rang on his Jimmy Smith projection: "The Seahawks’ biggest needs are quarterback and the interior of the offensive line, but the team could throw a curveball should a cornerback of Smith’s talent fall into their lap. The 6-2, 210-pound Smith has top 15 talent but off-field concerns could push him down the board. His size and physicality, however, make him an ideal fit for a team looking for press corners. The Seahawks allowed 31 touchdowns and only intercepted 12 passes. That minus-19 TD/INT ratio was topped by only the Texans, who had minus-20."

Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times expects Matt Hasselbeck to test free agency. O'Neil: "That doesn't mean Hasselbeck's departure is a done deal. Far from it. Testing the open market can provide the nudge to bring the two sides together, another team's offer becoming a tangible, concrete milepost to negotiate off of. That's what happened with Kurt Warner in Arizona two years ago. The Cardinals were coming off a Super Bowl appearance yet Warner had to take a free-agent visit to San Francisco before agreeing to a new deal in Arizona."

Eric D. Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune thinks the Seahawks could make a run at Kevin Kolb. Williams: "Well, I know they were interested in Kolb last year, so that leads me to believe they will make a run after him again. If the cost is too prohibitive, then that opens the door for another free agent quarterback should they not bring Hasselbeck back. Maybe someone like Carson Palmer if Cincinnati decides to part ways with the USC product and makes him available in a trade. Whatever the team decides, I think they will bring two new QBs in to compete with Whitehurst."

Brock Huard of 710ESPN Seattle looks at options for Seattle if Hasselbeck leaves.

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee doesn't expect the 49ers to pursue tampering chargers against the Eagles after San Francisco running back Brian Westbrook said he speaks regularly to Andy Reid. The NFL's tampering policy lays out parameters for tampering as follows, and I am paraphrasing: a team speaks with a player from another team; the other team shows interest in the player; the player and his current team experience problems in negotiations. From the policy: "In circumstances like those of the example above, tampering will be found even in the absence of a demonstrated cause-and-effect relationship between the player's contract problems and his prior involvement with the other club." In this case, the 49ers and Eagles presumably have no interest in Westbrook.

Ron Kroichick of the San Francisco Chronicle says 49ers legend Dwight Clark is landing in the Bay Area Sports Hall of Fame.

Kevin Lynch of Niner Insider asks whether the 49ers should have interest in Cam Newton.

Tim Klutsarits of examiner.com says Oshiomogho Atogwe's departure from the Rams makes sense financially, but not in other ways.

Jason La Canfora of NFL Network says former Rams quarterback Marc Bulger performed at a high level in practices with Baltimore last season, citing a source as saying the ball never hit the ground when he was running the offense.