Tuesday, July 24, 2012
Around the NFC West: Contract situations
By Mike Sando
Good morning, NFC West.
Chris Clemons' recent agreement with the Seattle Seahawks leaves the NFC West with few unsettled contract situations heading into training camps.
The San Francisco 49ers' Dashon Goldson remains unsigned as a franchise player, but he'll sign a one-year deal at some point.
Janoris Jenkins' negotiations with the St. Louis Rams will bear watching as the week progresses. Jason Cole of Yahoo! has the details on that one. While it's tough to fault the Rams for seeking protection given Jenkins' troubled off-field history, the team built its protection already by drafting Jenkins later than the cornerback would have been available in the absence of that history.
Brian McIntyre of NFL.com takes a closer look at the Rams' receivers. Among his thoughts: "Last year's fourth-round pick Greg Salas posted big numbers out of the slot at Hawaii and was having a promising rookie season before suffering a broken leg midway through the season. Injuries to Amendola and Salas is what got 2011 third-round selection Austin Pettis on the field as a rookie. Pettis' performance is why the Rams invested so heavily in the wide receiver position again this April. Brandon Gibson currently sits atop the depth chart, but he's a player the current coaching staff and front office inherited, has a seven-figure salary ($1 million) and can be released with no cap implications. The new regime also inherited Danario Alexander, who is a game-changing deep threat when healthy, which he rarely is."
Nick Wagoner of stlouisrams.com analyzes the Rams' roster heading into camp. He lists Danny Amendola, Brian Quick, Chris Givens, Steve Smith and Salas as five leading candidates to secure up to six spots on the initial 53-man roster.
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee previews a few potential camp battles for the 49ers. He anticipates fewer carries for Frank Gore. Barrows: "It's clear that Frank Gore won't have the workload he's had since becoming the featured running back in 2006. What's unclear is how those non-Gore carries will be divided this season. Second-year player Kendall Hunter and second-round draft pick LaMichael James are assured spots on the team while Rock Cartwright could win one based on his special teams ability. Brandon Jacobs' and Anthony Dixon's spots, however, are fuzzier."
Cam Inman of the San Jose Mercury News checks in with 49ers rookie receiver A.J. Jenkins, who says he's made significant strides since minicamp. Jenkins: "Obviously I had criticism when I first came in as far as being in shape. That’s irrelevant now. I’m just trying to help the team win, whether that’s playing special teams, offense or being a real good teammate."
Clare Farnsworth of seahawks.com reflects on Grant Feasel's recent passing at age 52. Feasel played for the team in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Former teammate Jeff Kemp: "Grant was the quintessential sacrificial warrior. He wrapped himself up in the duty to clear the way for and protect his teammates. He took his job so seriously. Our families grew up together and Grant deeply loved his family. He had a great sense of humor but never during the heat of battle."
Also from Farnsworth: expectations for the Seahawks' running backs.
Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic takes a look at the Cardinals' secondary with training camp approaching. Somers: "After Patrick Peterson, there is considerable sorting out to do in training camp. There are four solid contenders for other starting position: William Gay, Greg Toler, A.J. Jefferson and rookie Jamell Fleming. Based upon off-season work, Gay and Toler lead the pack. By the end of the summer workouts, they were splitting time with the first team. Toler missed all of last season with a torn ACL, but his recovery is on schedule. In one practice, he was matched up against Larry Fitzgerald and leaped to break up and pass. He fell to the ground, and everyone held their breath. Fitzgerald quickly leaned over Toler, checking on him. Toler was fine. It's recovering from those kinds of plays that will build his confidence."
Darren Urban of azcardinals.com previews training camp for Arizona. Urban: "The Cards won’t be able to ease into anything. The first practice is Wednesday afternoon, and by Saturday afternoon they will have the Red-White practice, which usually features a live goal line situation. With so much to determine -- not the least of which will be the starting quarterback -- Ken Whisenhunt embraces an extra preseason game and some extra days in camp because of it. The new collective bargaining agreement essentially took away a week of offseason on-field work. Whisenhunt looks forward to recouping some of that."