Monday, March 11, 2013
Around the NFC West: Setting the table
By Mike Sando
Good morning, NFC West. Here's hoping the free-agent signing period that opens Tuesday will be more exciting than the ongoing three-day window for negotiating.
Alas, a weekend designed to help NFL teams add players will instead be remembered for notable roster subtractions. While teams were allowed to speak with representatives for projected free agents, the NFL warned teams against reaching contract agreements even in principle. It's not yet clear to what degree the three-day window will help teams get a feel for what players might command in free agency.
In the meantime, teams reduced salary-cap obligations.
The Arizona Cardinals, having already cut safety Adrian Wilson, released receiver Early Doucet, leaving NFC West teams with five of the 28 players they drafted in 2008.
The St. Louis Rams, having already cut Wayne Hunter and watched Steven Jackson void his contract, planned to release safety Quintin Mikell. Those moves gave the Rams enough salary-cap room to strike for a marquee free agent if the team wants to go that route for a second consecutive offseason.
Kevin Kolb's contract situation stands as perhaps the biggest unresolved issue in the NFC West heading into free agency. Arizona recently placed a second-round tender on restricted free-agent quarterback Brian Hoyer, an indication he figures into their plans for now, at least. Will Kolb take a reduction from his $9 million salary, or might he reach the market for the first time in his career?