Tuesday, August 2, 2011
Four quick notes before hitting the road
By Mike Sando
I'm heading over to Seattle Seahawks headquarters Tuesday afternoon before catching a flight to Arizona for Cardinals camp. In the meantime, a few NFC West-related notes and thoughts:
- Rams running backs: The St. Louis Rams are visiting with Atlanta Falcons free-agent running back Jerious Norwood. A deal could be in the works, Tony Softli notes. Cadillac Williams is another option. Finding a backup for Steven Jackson stands as a priority for the Rams this offseason. Norwood is 28 years old and played in only two games last season, but Rams general manager Billy Devaney knows him well. Devaney and Norwood were together on the Falcons. Devaney also knows what the Rams need behind Jackson. This could be a good fit. But not everyone is sold. Matt Williamson of Scouts Inc. has been bold in saying Jackson has a lost a step and is declining. Given his thinking, Williamson thinks the Rams need more of a workhorse back in the No. 2 role. Williamson: "Norwood is not good enough. I don't think he is physical enough or reliable enough or durable enough to be Jackson's backup. Other than that, the Rams have done great in free agency. Maybe they could still get a Ronnie Brown or Ricky Williams. A big, physical back to lighten Jackson's load would be great, and you can get backs cheap now. I don't know why they would settle for Norwood. He's fast in a straight line and good in a dome, but he hasn't done anything in a long time."
- Seahawks defensive linemen. Free-agent defensive end Jimmy Wilkerson agreed to terms with Seattle, the team confirmed. Seattle fared well last offseason by signing Raheem Brock to one-year deal for a reasonable rate. Brock had 9.0 sacks, but at age 33, he wasn't going to get a long-term deal from a Seattle team looking to go young. Wilkerson, 30, will sign a one-year deal. Will Brock return? It's possible, but I'd be a little surprised. Also for Seattle: Former Rams fullback Mike Karney is visiting, Jim Thomas reports. Oakland tight end Zach Miller already visited. No word yet on his plans.
- Kevin Kolb signed his contract. The Cardinals made the announcement Wednesday. Kolb's deal runs through the 2016 season. The moves Arizona has made on its offensive line stand out as critical to giving Kolb a chance. Re-signing Lyle Sendlein and adding Daryn Colledge helped. Getting Deuce Lutui almost accidentally was a bonus. Lutui has more motivation to succeed after failing his physical in Cincinnati. The Cardinals would be nervous about Lutui's conditioning had they given him a big contract in free agency. Adding Floyd "Pork Chop" Womack as insurance rounded out the depth. Rex Hadnot is still there, too. Those things said, drafting a few linemen would help, too.
- The 49ers' plan in free agency. The 49ers are taking heat for doing little in free agency. Coach Jim Harbaugh and general manager Trent Baalke are new to their roles. They've been guarded about revealing their plans. I get that part of it, but they should and probably will become more adept at explaining their approach. There's no shame in laying low during free agency. Green Bay and Pittsburgh can attest to that. But if the 49ers are going to take that approach, they could help their fans by explaining why.
OK, time's running short. I'll check in as soon as the travel schedule allows.
Note: This item initially referred to Wednesday instead of Tuesday because I'm horrible at remembering days of the week. They run together.