NFC West: Aaron Hineline
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
Howard Balzer of Sportsxchange makes a compelling case for why Orlando Pace and Torry Holt will not be back for another season with the Rams. Neither received a letter inviting him to the offseason conditioning program. Also, the Rams are working with Jason Brown's agent to correct a problem with the free-agent center's contract, which the NFL disapproved. These things happen periodically. The Packers went through a similar experience with running back Ryan Grant last summer. The deals get approved eventually.
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee says Alex Smith's new contract "slams the door" on the 49ers signing another quarterback in free agency.
Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat expects Smith's new contract to be worth about what Shaun Hill is scheduled to receive. Contract details tend to be scarce when players accept pay cuts. Smith did have some leverage in this case because the 49ers wanted him back. I won't be surprised if he got more than Hill. Maiocco: "Hill is scheduled to make $1.4 million and $1.5 million in base salary the next two seasons, plus he can make another $1.8 million per season in incentives. Hill's salary-cap figures in 2009 and 2010 are $2.1 million and $2.2 million."
John Crumpacker of the San Francisco Chronicle sees Smith's new deal as a chance for the quarterback to reinvent himself without changing teams. Agent Tom Condon on Smith's surgically repaired shoulder: "I don't know if he's 100 percent yet. He's pain-free and that's a huge improvement. He feels good. The shoulder surgery was successful. He's continuing his rehab and getting stronger."
Sportsradiointerviews.com provides a content summary and audio link to KTAR's recent interview with new Cardinals cornerback Bryant McFadden. McFadden on starting: "It's going to be a competition, as well expected. There's nothing really given to you in this league and that's the way it should be. I think competition makes everybody as a whole better."
Revenge of the Birds' Andrew602 outlines MVP candidates from the Cardinals' 2008 season.
Tim Booth of the Associated Press tracks down Seahawks scouting assistant Aaron Hineline at the Central Washington University pro day. Hineline: "I would definitely say you're going to see more guys spending more time at small schools, more than they have. More guys are going in there and visiting the guys."
John Morgan of Field Gulls digests injury information from Football Outsiders as it pertains to the Seahawks. The information puts into perspective the Seahawks' injury situation from the 2008 season. Not pretty.