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Wednesday, June 20, 2012
Around the NFC West: Andre Roberts' rise

By Mike Sando
ESPN.com

The Arizona Cardinals drafted Michael Floyd to start at wide receiver opposite Larry Fitzgerald. They think Andre Roberts, displaced from the lineup by Floyd, will flourish from the slot, where he is naturally suited to line up.

There could be a transition period, however, and Roberts might be more worthy of the starting job initially. Roberts caught 24 passes as a rookie in 2010 and 51 last season.

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com projects Roberts as the favorite to start in Week 1. Urban: "I think Michael Floyd will play an important role for this team, and Early Doucet will play. But if you don’t know by now the level of confidence the coaching staff has in Roberts with his play after last season, you haven’t been paying attention." Noted: Roberts came on strong for a time late last season. He blocked well and was frequently open, but quarterbacks failed to get him the ball, coach Ken Whisenhunt said last week.

Also from Urban: a look at the Cardinals' quarterback competition.

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says the Cardinals have seen good things from rookie cornerback Jamell Fleming, but it's still a bit early for bold proclamations.

Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com holds up Michael Griffin's new contract with Tennessee as one that could help set parameters for a deal between Dashon Goldson and the San Francisco 49ers. Maiocco: "Griffin agreed with the Titans on a five-year extension that ESPN reports is worth $35 million, including $15 million guaranteed. Those numbers are almost identical to the figure I've heard from league sources in connection with a possible multi-year deal for Goldson. The sides continue to be in contact about working out a long-term contract."

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee provides an update on where cornerback Perrish Cox stands with the 49ers. Barrows: "Cox said the 49ers spring drills, which for veterans wrapped up last week, were a valuable learning experience, and the newcomer emerged as one of the standouts from the session."

Daniel Brown of the San Jose Mercury News consults with 49ers historian Donn Sinn regarding the late R.C. Owens. Brown: "The departure of R.C. after the 1961 season led to the 49ers drafting of Arkansas HB Lance Alworth in 1962. The 49ers wanted Alworth to replace Owens in the event he would not re-sign with San Francisco. Unfortunately, the 49ers lost out to the San Diego Chargers who signed the Razorback star and Future Hall-of-Fame player."

Ramona C. Sanders of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports from the Rams' annual playground-building project. Sanders: "Brockers and about 100 rookie players and staff from the Rams' organization were there to build a new playground as part of the St. Louis Rams Playground Build program. In its fourth year, Playground Build provides a $50,000 grant to purchase playground equipment and plenty of manpower to assemble and erect a playground at schools or community centers that do not have one."

Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune checks in with Seahawks guard Deuce Lutui, who has clearly lost weight and seems to be in a healthy frame of mind. Lutui: "I look at things so differently. I’m playing at a weight that’s mine; I'm weighing in for myself, not for others."

Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times compares Chris Clemons' contract to those for other players with similar sack totals in recent seasons. O'Neil on John Abraham's deal with the Falcons: "Abraham is more than three years older than Clemons, and as a free agent this year, he was able to secure a short-term deal at three years worth a total of $16 million."