NFC West: Jaymar Johnson

NFL teams have until 4 p.m. ET Monday to reach the 75-man roster limit from the current 90 allowable players.

The Arizona Cardinals got a jump on their moves upon returning from their exhibition game at Tennessee.

Placing left tackle Levi Brown on injured reserve stands as the most significant move by far. The move comes as no surprise after Brown suffered a torn triceps tendon, but there's a sense of finality in the transaction. It means Brown cannot return until the 2013 season. There had been some hope he might return late in the season.

The chart shows rosters counts at each position, plus positional counts from Week 1 last season.

Among the players released: defensive tackle Landon Cohen, receiver Gino Crump, safety Eddie Elder, receiver Tre Gray, cornerback Marshay Green, receiver Jaymar Johnson, fullback Reagan Maui'a, linebacker Marcus McGraw, linebacker Zack Nash, cornerback James Nixon, kicker/punter Ricky Schmitt and linebacker Paul Vassallo.

Running back Thomas Clayton and fullback Jared Crank were waived/injured. They'll revert to injured reserve upon clearing waivers.

The team announced these transactions.
Our two-day look at NFC West rosters continues with projections for the Arizona Cardinals' offense.

Quarterbacks (4)

Average number kept since 2003: 3.0

Safest bets: Kevin Kolb, John Skelton

Leading contenders: Ryan Lindley, Rich Bartel

Longer odds: none

Comment: Coach Ken Whisenhunt was ready with a quip when asked to pinpoint when the team would like to have its quarterback competition settled. Two years ago, he said. Instead, Kolb and Skelton figure to battle deep into the exhibition season. The Cardinals have five preseason games to use for evaluation. Bartel's grip on the No. 3 job could be ending after Arizona used a sixth-round pick for Lindley.

Running backs (8)

Average number kept since 2003: 5.2

Safest bets: Beanie Wells, Ryan Williams, Anthony Sherman, LaRod Stephens-Howling

Leading contenders: Alfonso Smith

Longer odds: William Powell, Javarris James, Jared Crank

Comment: The Cardinals have been banking on Wells and Williams returning from knee injuries. Neither participated fully in offseason workouts or practices. Wells' agent said the team was playing it safe with his client to maximize Wells' availability in 2012. The team did not make lineup contingency plans in case Wells or Williams isn't ready or suffers additional injuries. It's Wells and Williams or bust at this point. Sherman is developing into a first-rate fullback. Stephens-Howling has been one of the better special-teams players around. Smith also has value on special teams if the Cardinals decide to keep a fifth back in Week 1, as they have done for the past four seasons.

Wide receivers (12)

Average number kept since 2003: 6.1

Safest bets: Larry Fitzgerald, Michael Floyd, Andre Roberts, Early Doucet

Leading contenders: Isaiah Williams, Stephen Williams, DeMarco Sampson, Jaymar Johnson

Longer odds: LaRon Byrd, Stanley Arukwe, Tre Gray, Gino Crump

Comment: The Cardinals have never kept fewer than six wideouts on their Week 1 roster since Whisenhunt became coach. They kept seven in 2009. Arizona appears to have excellent quality through its top four options at the position. Fitzgerald is an all-time great and in his prime. His presence should help free Floyd to produce as a rookie first-round draft choice, provided the team's quarterbacks do a better job finding open receivers. Floyd's arrival signals Roberts' move to the slot, where the Cardinals think he's ideally suited. Doucet was productive from the slot on third down last season.

Tight ends (6)

Average number kept since 2003: 3.2

Safest bets: Todd Heap, Jeff King, Rob Housler

Leading contenders: Jim Dray, Steve Skelton

Longer odds: Martell Webb

Comment: This position should become a strength with Housler's expected emergence as a fast, athletic receiving threat. Again, the Cardinals are counting on Kolb and/or Skelton to find the open receivers they missed too frequently last season. Age and injury concerns follow the 32-year-old Heap into his 12th season and second with the Cardinals. His $2 million salary would not appear to put him at significant risk, provided Heap bounces back this season. King exceeded expectations as a receiver last season. The Cardinals had never kept more than three tight ends on their Week 1 roster until last season, when they kept four.

Offensive linemen (15)

Average number kept since 2003: 8.7

Safest bets: Levi Brown, Daryn Colledge, Lyle Sendlein, Adam Snyder, Jeremy Bridges, Bobby Massie

Leading contenders: Senio Kelemete, D'Anthony Batiste, Nate Potter

Longer odds: D.J. Young, Braeden Clayson, Ryan Bartholomew, Scott Wedige, Chris Stewart, Blake DeChristopher

Comment: Sendlein and Colledge give the Cardinals two solid contributors on the perimeter. The team is counting on Brown to build upon the improvement he showed at left tackle late last season. Brown does appear determined to shake his negative reputation. Questions abound on the right side of the line. Snyder appeared headed for a backup job somewhere when the Cardinals gave him $3.5 million per season, including $5 million up front, to start at right guard. Pairing Snyder with Bridges or Massie on the right side would seem to invite trouble. Perhaps the Cardinals know something others do not. Can line coach Russ Grimm develop the young talent Arizona added through the draft?
Lots going on with the St. Louis Rams.

First, thanks to @Gofastleft for pointing out a story suggesting the team has asked for a retractable roof as part of its proposed renovations to the Edward Jones Dome.

Charles Jaco of Fox2now.com says experts generally suggest a price tag between $200 million and $300 million for retrofitting a stadium with such a roof. Jaco: "The Rams lease at the dome says the team is free to leave St. Louis in January 2015 if the dome is not among the top facilities in the National Football League. The Rams rejected an offer from the Convention and Visitor’s Commission to spend $124 million to upgrade the dome, half from taxpayers, half from the team. And this is their counter-offer. If the CVC rejects this proposal, which is pretty likely, then both sides go to arbitration June 15." Noted: Details for the various proposals become public Monday.

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch details changes in the Rams' scouting department. Thomas: "The process is well under way, with general manager Les Snead bringing two Atlanta Falcons scouts into directors' positions in the front office. Falcons pro scout Ran Carthon is joining the Rams as director of pro personnel; Falcons area scout Taylor Morton is coming to St. Louis as director of college scouting. The Rams didn't have anyone with the title of director of pro personnel last season, so technically, Carthon isn't replacing anyone. John Mancini, who has been the Rams' director of college scouting for the past two years, is being retained with the title of assistant director of college scouting."

Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com offers thoughts on Michael Crabtree's development through three seasons. Maiocco: "While fans expect 1,000-yard seasons from a player chosen with the No. 10 overall draft pick, the 49ers' offense is not one that features the outside receivers. Some view Crabtree as a bust. I am certainly not in that camp."

Kevin Lynch of the San Francisco Chronicle looks at how rookie LaMichael James could change the 49ers' offense. Lynch: "At Oregon, he played in a spread and most of his carries came from a shotgun quarterback. That could continue with the 49ers. With the additions of Randy Moss, Mario Manningham and rookie A.J. Jenkins the team is showing signs of opening up the offense. Going into the shotgun frequently, could put James on the field more often. But for that to be the case, James will have to prove he’s more of a Darren Sproles than a Dexter McCluster. The revelation of just whom James will be, will start this Friday at the team's rookie minicamp."

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee looks at the sorry recent history of the No. 81 jersey in San Francisco, asking whether there's been a T.O. curse.

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com explains how receiver Larry Fitzgerald pushes teammates to work harder. Fitzgerald: "I'm just an extremely self-motivated person, that's all. Every day I am trying to run faster, jump higher, lift more. I have always been that way. Especially young guys like (Ryan Williams) … yesterday Patrick Peterson, we had a squat competition. I do it with (receivers) DeMarco Sampson, Jaymar (Johnson). I am into that. I love the competition, no matter if it is on the field, the basketball gym, the bowling alley, competition always makes the cream rise to the top. So I love to compete."

Clare Farnsworth of seahawks.com checks in with offensive line coach Tom Cable for thoughts on why the team drafted defensive lineman J.R. Sweezy with an eye toward converting Sweezy to offense. Cable: "It was his demeanor, first and foremost. His intelligence. His toughness. And how he played on defense."

Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times says Red Bryant is determined to fulfill expectations after signing a $35 million contract this offseason. Bryant: "A lot of guys get big contracts and they kind of go in the tank because you get comfortable. I feel like not so much to justify it, but I have bigger expectations than just a contract. You hear that all the time, but I definitely want to be a guy that when my playing days are over with and they think about the Seahawks, they think about big Red Bryant."

710ESPN Seattle passes along comments from Seahawks coach Pete Carroll regarding Russell Wilson's arm strength.

2012 NFL Draft Machine: WRs catch on

March, 31, 2012
3/31/12
10:34
AM ET
The recently activated 2012 NFL Draft Machine lets us quickly play around with various mock scenarios.

The other eight divisional bloggers and I are working on one for publication Monday.

I'm picking for the NFC West teams and couldn't help but notice how frequently wide receiver factored into the decision making for the St. Louis Rams, Arizona Cardinals and San Francisco 49ers in particular.

Justin Blackmon was an obvious consideration for the Rams at No. 6. Michael Floyd entered into consideration for the Cardinals at No. 13. The 49ers do not pick until No. 30, making it less clear which wideouts might be available.

The chart shows current wide receivers for NFC West teams. The Rams' Danny Amendola is a restricted free agent. The others are signed and active.

Enjoy the draft machine. I'll break out my thoughts on NFC West possibilities when our mock runs Monday.

49ers WR Brandon Jones inactive again

September, 27, 2009
9/27/09
11:43
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando


MINNEAPOLIS -- The 49ers and Vikings submitted their list of inactive players for their Week 3 game in the Metrodome.
No big surprises for the 49ers. They have four receivers active (Josh Morgan, Isaac Bruce, Arnaz Battle and Micheal Spurlock). Linebacker Ahmad Brooks is active, as coach Mike Singletary suggested the case would be.

Jones has returned to practice following a shoulder injury, but the 49ers did not find a spot for him on the 45-man roster. They have not used more than three wide receivers at a time through two games this season.

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