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Tuesday, May 17, 2011
Around the NFC West: Marketing Kolb

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

Chris McPherson of philadelphiaeagles.com quotes former NFL general manager Charley Casserly on Kevin Kolb's trade value and which teams would be most interested. Casserly: "Clearly Arizona is at the top of the list, Seattle is a close second ... Arizona was in the playoffs two years ago with a veteran quarterback and they have a Hall of Fame wide receiver in Larry Fitzgerald." McPherson: "Casserly, a two-time Super Bowl-champion general manager, believes that with the NFL Draft now in the rear-view mirror Kolb's trade value has only increased. Casserly believes the Eagles should receive more than a first-round pick for the veteran quarterback." We've gone from wondering whether the Eagles might be trying to pump up Kolb's value through back channels to seeing their website promote the idea openly. I'm not sure how much Kolb's value has increased after six teams selected quarterbacks among the first 36 choices of the recent draft. The market for Kolb has become more defined, but also more limited -- particularly if the Eagles insist upon charging a high price.

Jim Corbett of USA Today takes an in-depth look at the Cardinals, with analysis from former quarterback Kurt Warner. Corbett: "Question is, will normally conservative owner Bill Bidwill dig that deep to get Ken Whisenhunt the best quarterback available in the post-lockout market? One reason to think so is that with Bidwill and his son, Michael, the team president, extending the contracts of Rod Graves and Whisenhunt through 2013, Kevin Kolb would represent a franchise quarterback to grow around."

Tony Softli of 101ESPN St. Louis sizes up the Rams' secondary and considers potential free-agent options at safety. Softli on Quintin Mikell of the Eagles: "A safety that has lost a step despite Pro-Bowl accolades. Might be the most complete safety on my board. He excels both in run support and pass coverage. Good tackler in both open and tight space with collision tackling skills and production. His football instincts put him in position with good coverage skills and he still has range to help corners on edge. His age knocks him down a notch."

Nate Ulrich of Ohio.com checks in with former Rams offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur, now coach of the Cleveland Browns. The report says Browns receiver Josh Cribbs is studying the Rams' offense from last season to get a better feel for what awaits once the lockout ends. Shurmur: "The players are curious about what (our new offense is) going to look like, so they go back and look at the place you've been. The players are sports fans. They're fans of the other teams. They know a lot of the players so they communicate behind the scenes quite a bit, and I'm sure that's what's happening."

Clare Farnsworth of seahawks.com passes along the full quote from NFL commissioner Roger Goodell regarding 10 a.m. PT kickoffs for West Coast teams. Goodell: "It’s something that we’re looking at to see how we can address when a team comes back from the West Coast and plays in an early time slot -- 10 o’clock on their clock, if you will. It’s something we try to address as best we can in the scheduling format. ... It’s difficult to do, because we have a lot of factors that go into that scheduling, including the broadcast patterns. But it is something we’ve got to try to find a way to deal with. We’ve been working with the clubs. The Seahawks in particular, and the 49ers, have raised this issue with me. I actually have a memo sitting right here on my desk on that front."

Also from Farnsworth: Seattle running backs coach Sherman Smith meets with teachers.

Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com offers thoughts on Glen Coffee's decision to quit football amid news that Coffee is playing recreational football. Coffee: "A lot of people think that because I quit, I don't like football or I have something against it. It's not like that. As a recreational sport, I still dig it. It's just not what I wanted to do with my life. I just enjoy recreational sports. I figured it would just be another fun thing to do."

Also from Maiocco: The 49ers drafted players based in part on their passion for the game. Coffee's situation came to mind when reading this one. General manager Trent Baalke on receiver Ronald Johnson: "He's very passionate. Everybody we talked to at USC talked about his passion for the game. He lives in the weight room, lives in the building. He has always wanted to be a pro."

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee discusses the 49ers' lockout contingency plans. Barrows: "Jim Harbaugh said that the 49ers coaches have created several contingency plans based on how long they have between the end of the lockout and the first regular-season game. He said it ranged from 10 days to several months. Once the lockout is over, the 49ers will roll with one of their plans. Of course, longer is better. New Cowboys coach Jason Garrett has said he needs a minimum of three weeks to prepare his team before full contact begins."

Eric Branch of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat says leadership appealed to the 49ers when they selected Curtis Holcomb in the seventh round. Holcomb, a cornerback, was a four-time team captain at Florida A&M. Baalke: "You want to talk about wired right? I don’t think anyone in our building had ever heard of that."