Tuesday, April 17, 2012
Around the NFC West: Where Kolb stands
By Mike Sando
The Arizona Cardinals paid $12 million to quarterback Kevin Kolb last season.
They wound up paying him another $7 million this offseason, but only after failing to land Peyton Manning.
Did they also owe Kolb an explanation for their plans at the position? It's easy in retrospect to say they should have apprised Kolb of their plans, but showing sensitivity to Manning became the top priority for teams hoping to sign the four-time MVP quarterback.
The Cardinals didn't want to mess up their chances.
Meanwhile, the San Francisco 49ers reached out to Alex Smith late in the process, and Smith later denied reports that the 49ers' handling of the Manning pursuit had upset him at the time. These were sensitive situations.
Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says Kolb did eventually get an explanation from coach Ken Whisenhunt. Kolb: "They didn't deny anything. They didn't lie. They didn't apologize for anything, like they shouldn't. It's kind of hard to 'if and but' around the situation, but without getting into too much detail about the situation, I just said, 'In the future, you can just communicate with me. I can take it, if this is the route you're going.' I'd just rather hear from him than the ticker or something. He agreed and that's how relationships grow and that's where we're headed."
Paola Boivin of the Arizona Republic checks in with Cardinals tackle Levi Brown.
Darren Urban of azcardinals.com says a smaller window for offseason conditioning means additional work.
Clare Farnsworth of seahawks.com says the team's voluntary offseason conditioning program began with baseline strength and flexibility testing. Trainer Sam Ramsden: "Basically what we're looking for is pain with movement, so we can pick something up and treat it. We're looking for imbalance, whether they do better with left versus right, so we know that's a predisposed factor to injury. So we're using it as a proactive, preventative tool to assess our players prior to beginning their offseason conditioning program."
Brady Henderson of 710ESPN Seattle passes along recent comments from Seahawks fullback Michael Robinson regarding the value Paul McQuistan provides as a utility offensive lineman. Robinson: "Paul McQuistan, he was all over the line. I called him my MVP in midseason. He would laugh about it, but I think he definitely was. Without a guy like that being able to just step in, and without production dropping off, it made things very easy, especially for a fullback and a runner -- he opened lanes for us."
Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says Rams coaches are allowed on the field with players Tuesday for the first time this offseason. The Rams are two weeks ahead of their division rivals, having been allowed to begin their voluntary offseason conditioning program April 2, when teams with new head coaches began. Coach Jeff Fisher: "Tuesday is our first opportunity to join the players on the field. Coaches have been prohibited from observing and participating up until this week. So we've got two days to introduce our offense and defense, some aspects of special teams, and get the players moving around a little bit."
Bryan Burwell of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams have too many needs to justify moving up for any one player near the top of the 2012 NFL draft.
Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com outlines the San Francisco 49ers' needs on defense, as he sees them. Maiocco: "With the departures of reserve safeties Reggie Smith and Madieu Williams, the 49ers must add a young player to compete with C.J. Spillman for the top backup spot behind starters Dashon Goldson and Donte Whitner. Also, the 49ers would like to create more competition for the cornerback jobs."
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee says Larry Grant's return gives the 49ers one player remaining from their 2008 draft class.
Mike Rosenberg of the San Jose Mercury News is back with the second part of his interview with 49ers CEO Jed York, who has this to say about NFL reaction to the team securing a new stadium: "I think the league is ecstatic. This is the first stadium built just for pro football in the history of California. If you look at the other ones, Qualcomm Stadium (in San Diego) was for baseball, Candlestick Park was for baseball, the Coliseum in Oakland was built for baseball and mixed use. In Southern California, the Coliseum and Rose Bowl, those were for the Olympics and college sports. This is the first building just for pro football, and it speaks volumes for the amount of work that went into it. California has been such a great market, and we just haven't had the venues to host the great American sporting event (the Super Bowl)."
Stephanie M. Lee of the San Francisco Chronicle says the 49ers' eventual relocation to Santa Clara for games will cost San Francisco money.