NFC West: John Carlson

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Before Saturday's preseason opener, the last game John Carlson played in was his last of 2013.

Carlson
A concussion knocked him out of Minnesota's Week 14 loss to Baltimore. Two weeks later he was put on injured reserved. Three months later the Vikings released the tight end. But five reported concussions throughout his college and professional careers didn't stop Carlson, who signed with the Cardinals this offseason.

While head injuries are a daily threat in the NFL, the potential of a sixth known concussion didn't slow Carlson on Saturday when he played in his first live action since Dec. 8 in Arizona's 32-0 preseason win over Houston.

"We understand that as football players it's a violent game, it's a physical game," Carlson said. "You do everything you can technically to be as safe as possible. The league has done things to make the game safer but you can't go out there worried about getting hurt or you're going to be at a higher risk of getting hurt then."

A second-round pick by Seattle in 2008, Carlson has found a third NFL home as long as he stays healthy.

He's a starter for the Cardinals and is the type of tight end coach Bruce Arians sought to fit into his offense. He's 6-foot-5 and 248 pounds, and can block off the line and run tight routes. He showed his receiver skills Saturday when he beat 2014 top pick Jadeveon Clowney off the line for a wide open 13-yard touchdown, though it was called back because of a penalty.

By time he played his seven snaps Saturday, Carlson was accustomed to being hit again. Arizona donned pads on the third day of training camp and the hitting commenced immediately. While tackling to ground is generally prohibited, getting knocked around has been a part of camp.

But Carlson said he's not concerned about getting another head injury.

"We practice hard and that's the way we get ready to play the game," he said. "You can't go out on the football field and be worried about getting hit. That's when guys get hurt."

Arians said Carlson's concussion history was a concern when the team signed him in March, but his talent trumped the risk.

"He's doing everything he can to make sure he doesn't get another one," Arians said. "Football is football."

Cardinals Camp Report: Day 7

August, 2, 2014
Aug 2
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GLENDALE, Ariz. -- A daily review of the hot topics coming out of Arizona Cardinals training camp:
  • The battle of the day was at left guard between Jonathan Cooper, the expected starter, and Earl Watford, who has been the backup at right guard. Before Saturday’s practice, Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said he was “disappointed” with where Cooper’s progress is a week into training camp. Cooper and Watford began alternating snaps, but toward the end of practice they alternated series.
  • Saturday was the Cardinals’ Fan Fest, which meant live hitting, and the Cardinals ran a goal-line drill at the end of practice. Jonathan Dwyer looked good throughout practice, running in a couple touchdowns, including on a pretty sweep to the right.
  • Tight end John Carlson appears to be atop the depth chart and he has earned it. Carlson has been making catches all camp and that continued Saturday with a series of grabs off the hand of Carson Palmer.
  • With John Brown’s hamstring holding him out of practice Saturday, Brittan Golden became the Cardinals’ fourth wide receiver and Andre Ellington lined up as the fifth receiver.
  • Cornerback Antonio Cromartie returned to practice.
  • Quarterback keepers were emphasized throughout practice. Logan Thomas ran for a touchdown after rolling out to the right and keeping it uncontested. Later in practice, back-up quarterback Drew Stanton outran the defense on a keeper down the left sideline.
  • Saturday was rookie Chandler Catanzaro's day to kick and he went 7-for-8, missing a 49-yard field goal that was part of a drive.
  • Reggie Dunn returned punts Saturday, ahead of Ted Ginn.
  • Golden also lined up at gunner across from Justin Bethel.
  • A few leftovers from Arians' Saturday news conference: Thomas hasn’t yet won the third-string job over Ryan Lindley, Arians said, citing the fact that he has seen Lindley throw for a year-and-a-half and Thomas since May. ... The Cardinals won’t watch tape of the Houston Texans in preparation for their preseason game next Saturday because Houston plays a similar defense.
  • The Cardinals are off Sunday and their next public practice will be 2 p.m. PT Tuesday at University of Phoenix Stadium.
GLENDALE, Ariz. -- Arizona Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians was excited for the start of padded practices, which begin Monday afternoon.

"We were very fortunate yesterday," Arians said. "We were way too active to be in shorts. I was holding my breath a little bit yesterday, but it was an outstanding practice."

• Arians said nose tackle Dan Williams will have an MRI on his swollen left knee. Williams is expected to miss Monday afternoon's practice.

• With pads being donned Monday, Arians won't limit how much his players hit. "With the limited time you can hit now, you can't hit enough, in my opinion."

• Arians said he hopes to keep four tight ends, but the rotation will be "more tailored to what they do best."

• Arians won't "baby" tight end John Carlson because of his history of concussions.

• When it comes to using fullbacks, Arians would rather use a versatile tight end than a true fullback because defenses can't prepare for a tight end that can play both positions as well as they can for a fullback.

• Quarterback Logan Thomas will get more snaps than Ryan Lindley in practice because he's newer, Arians said.

• Arians isn't a fan of training camp fights. He'd rather buy his players boxing gloves -- like Bear Bryant used to -- than see them break their hands. But Arians said he won't fine players for fights, he'll just "cut them."
Sometimes bigger is better. At least when it comes to tight ends.

One priority for the Arizona Cardinals during the offseason was to improve their tight end room. Coach Bruce Arians wanted tight ends that fit his mold -- guys who are bigger, stronger, faster and love to block. Midway through last season, Arizona began to transition its tight end unit by signing 6-foot-6, 275-pound Jake Ballard. John Carlson, who's 6-5, 248, was added during the early part of this year's free agency and Troy Niklas -- 6-6, 270 -- was drafted in May.

Housler
Housler
Arians wanted his tight ends to be bigger. He got what he wanted.

"That's always been my philosophy," Arians said. "I don't want a guy that's really a wide receiver and you're only hope to run the football is if they put a nickel in there and he can block him and in base defense, not going to block anybody. My experience (is) it's always been a detriment rather than guys who can do both."

Arians has one of those tight ends that's more of a wide receiver than a bruising blocker off the line.

Rob Housler, who's entering his fourth season with the Cards, has a basketball player's body. He can be quick in the open field and looks as comfortable as most wideouts running a route off the line. But that's not what Arians wants.

He wants to see his tight ends be a combination of the old school definition of the position combined with a sprinkle of new school. And that's why Ballard and Niklas have coaches giddy with excitement. They're both big men who enjoy contact at the line of scrimmage yet they're both athletic enough to run routes, catch tough passes and turn up field to make plays. Ballard showed what he's capable of in eight games last season, but Niklas was sidelined for most of the offseason while recovering from sports hernia surgery before suffering a broken hand.

Carlson
But it's Carlson who's impressed the most during organized team activities and minicamp.

"John has done a really, really good job," Arians said. "First off, he's extremely bright. He picked up the system extremely quick. He plays full speed all the time and has got outstanding hands. His issue in the past ... he's not an overwhelming blocker but he's more than adequate."

Each new addition to the tight end room brought more competition. While some players wilt at the first sign of having to play for their job, Arizona quarterback Carson Palmer said that hasn't happened yet with the Cards.

"It's been phenomenal to have John here for a number of (reasons)," Palmer said. "Mainly, he's really pushed that tight end group. He's really brought the best out of Robby. Bringing competition to that spot has really helped Robby improve."

While Carlson, Ballard and Niklas look similar in stature, Palmer said each brings a different asset to the field.

"We have three different guys with three different strengths -- four guys really (including Housler)," Palmer said. "We all kinda feed off of each other. There's one guy that's fast. There's one guy that's big and powerful. There's one guy that kinda does it all. I think that's what Coach Arians kinda envisioned in that position -- not a bunch of the same guys but a bunch of different guys."
We've got much to discuss as our NFC West predraft positional rankings continue with input from Matt Williamson, resident scout for ESPN.com.

Tight ends are up next, followed later Wednesday by the offensive lines.



Sando: Five current NFC West tight ends entered the NFL in the first three rounds of their draft classes. San Francisco's Vernon Davis, Seattle's Zach Miller and St. Louis' Jared Cook are playing under contracts featuring a combined $59 million in guaranteed money. Their deals are scheduled to consume $23.7 million in combined cap space for 2013. Still, I could see every team in the division except for the St. Louis Rams drafting one in the first few rounds.

Williamson: I'd be shocked if I moved San Francisco out of the No. 1 ranking, especially if the 49ers drafted one, which I expect them to do. Vernon Davis is clearly the best tight end in the division. Cook may end up being that some day, but I do not trust him yet.

Sando: The Cardinals were the only NFL team without a touchdown reception from a tight end last season. Bad quarterback play had quite a bit to do with that, of course.

Williamson: Arizona has to be fourth even though I think Rob Housler can become a player. Jeff King and Jim Dray are the backups there.

Sando: Cardinals coach Bruce Arians has said he "loved" Housler coming out of college and thought about drafting him as a big receiver. Overall, however, he would prefer his tight ends to be multidimensional players -- guys who block and catch well. Davis and Miller fit that profile. Each had 12 receptions, including one for a touchdown, during the playoffs last season. Both will enter the upcoming season more familiar with their young quarterbacks. But with John Carlson leaving Seattle one year ago and Delanie Walker leaving San Francisco this offseason, the Rams could now own the best one-two punch at the position heading into the draft.

Williamson: Miller came on strong. We could argue Cook versus Miller, but I give the Rams the edge over Seattle at tight end overall because Lance Kendricks is a decent backup who still has upside.

Sando: The Rams are obviously going to feature Cook in their receiving game. They gave him $19 million guaranteed while watching their more proven wideouts leave in free agency. Cook is going to serve as a wide receiver in some ways. Does that make Kendricks more of the traditional in-line tight end?

Williamson: Kendricks will never be a true inline 'Y' dealing with the Chris Clemonses of the world, but he can do that moreso than Cook. Cook is very much a receiver.

Sando: I can't argue with your tight end rankings too much, Matt. I'll be interested in seeing whether Miller picks up where he left off last season. This will be a position to revisit after the draft, too.

On Early Doucet's unusually long run

March, 10, 2013
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Wide receiver Early Doucet might not feel like a success story following his release from the Arizona Cardinals on Saturday.

Doucet struggled with drops and lost playing time last season, after all. Those were negatives, but the bigger picture looks upon his Cardinals tenure more favorably.

Consider that Doucet's departure from the Cardinals leaves NFC West teams with four players from the 28 they selected in their 2008 NFL draft classes.

Chris Long (St. Louis), Calais Campbell (Arizona), Red Bryant (Seattle) and Larry Grant (San Francisco) comprise that short list. Grant played three seasons with St. Louis before re-signing with San Francisco. That places Doucet on a shorter list of 2008 picks lasting five years with the teams that drafted them.

NFC West teams drafted Long, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, Lawrence Jackson, Kentwan Balmer, Donnie Avery, John Carlson, Chilo Rachal, Campbell, John Greco and Reggie Smith before the Cardinals selected Doucet.

Doucet never became a regular starter, but Fitzgerald and Boldin were well-established as franchise cornerstones when he arrived. And after Arizona traded Boldin in 2010, the team used a third-round choice for Andre Roberts.

Doucet was scheduled to earn $2 million in salary and workout bonus in 2013. He is 27 years old and could help a team as a slot receiver, in my view.

Doucet has 1,213 yards receiving from the slot since 2008, third on the Cardinals behind Boldin (1,352) and Fitzgerald (1,221) over that span, according to ESPN Stats & Information. He also has 14 drops on those plays, matching the total for Boldin (eight) and Fitzgerald (six).

With the NFL deadline for naming franchise players passing at 4 p.m. ET Monday, we await official word from the league as to whether any NFC West players received the designation.

This can be a nerve-racking time for teams and fans hoping to keep favorite players.

Using the franchise tag almost always keeps a player from leaving in free agency. Teams must balance those concerns with a player's actual value. This year, deciding against using the tag could allow good-not-great NFC West players such as Dashon Goldson, Delanie Walker and Danny Amendola to reach the market and sign elsewhere.

It's tough losing key players, but for some perspective, let's revisit the list of 2012 NFC West unrestricted free agents to change teams during the UFA signing period last offseason: Note: UFAs include only veteran players whose contracts expired. Released players are not UFAs.
Todd Heap's release from the Arizona Cardinals, announced by the team Tuesday, ends what appeared to be a strained relationship.

Might another NFC West team have interest? Zach Miller is entrenched as the Seattle Seahawks' starter, but the Seahawks hoped to pair him with John Carlson until Carlson signed with Minnesota in free agency. Anthony McCoy has been playing more extensively as the second tight end. His 11-yard reception Sunday helped sustain a 12-play, 97-yard drive to the go-ahead touchdown during the final minutes of regulation at Chicago.

Heap is 32 years old. He hasn't played since suffering a knee injury in Week 2. The Seahawks generally prefer younger players. But with Arizona on the schedule in Week 14, the thought did occur that Heap could provide at least some value on a short-term basis.

NFC West thoughts as Week 9 gets going

November, 4, 2012
11/04/12
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SEATTLE -- A few thoughts while Green Bay leads Arizona and the Minnesota-Seattle game awaits:
  • Early Doucet has two dropped passes for the Cardinals. He now has six this season, twice his total for 2011. I've been getting questions about Michael Floyd possibly replacing Doucet. This would not be a direct swap. Doucet plays primarily from the slot. Floyd is more of an outside receiver. If Floyd replaces Doucet in the three-receiver package, Andre Roberts would be the slot receiver. That was the thinking when Arizona drafted Floyd in the first round. Doucet (29) and Roberts (22) led the Cardinals in targets from the slot entering Week 9, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Floyd had only two.
  • Cardinals outside linebacker O'Brien Schofield suffered an ankle injury. His return is questionable, according to the team.
  • Seattle did not name its starting offensive line after listing James Carpenter among its inactives. John Moffitt will presumably start at right guard, with Paul McQuistan moving over to left guard, where Carpenter had been playing. Seattle has improved its line depth over the past couple seasons. Moffitt seemingly fits the Seahawks' zone scheme better than Carpenter fits it, at least as a guard.
  • Ex-Seahawks tight end John Carlson was listed among the Vikings' inactive players, as expected. Carlson caught two scoring passes in his most recent meaningful game at CenturyLink Field. That was during Seattle's playoff upset against New Orleans following the 2010 season. He spent last season on injured reserve and has been sidelined since suffering a concussion during the Vikings' victory over the Cardinals.
  • Blair Walsh, the Vikings' kicker, just connected in practice on a 55-yard field goal. He appeared to have more than five yards to spare. He has made all four tries from 50-plus yards this season, three of them at home and one outdoors.

All for now. Back to watching


The Seattle Seahawks could use a good second tight end such as John Carlson.

The Minnesota Vikings could use a receiver with size to threaten opponents downfield the way Sidney Rice did for the team a few years back.

Of course, the Seahawks had Carlson on their roster last season. They lost him to Minnesota when the Vikings paid a premium for him in free agency. Carlson has been hurt and unable to help his new team much. Seattle had had trouble finding a reliable second tight end. The Seahawks released Kellen Winslow. They watched Evan Moore drop what would have been a game-changing reception at San Francisco two weeks ago.

The Vikings had Rice on their roster two seasons ago. They lost him to Seattle when the Seahawks paid a premium for him in free agency. Rice struggled with injuries last season. He remains in the early stages of fulfilling expectations with the Seahawks even while emerging as clearly the team's top receiving threat in 2012.

The lesson here is that free agency can often do more harm than good to teams and careers.

The money can make it all worthwhile for players, of course. Teams likewise have budgets to maintain. And in the cases of Carlson and Rice, there were no guarantees either would have flourished had they remained with their original teams.

But with the Vikings and Seahawks facing one another in Week 9, the stories of Carlson and Rice have come into focus. Both were young players when they left their original teams. Both had been relatively high draft choices. Both were worth keeping, but not at any price. And both are missed.

NFC North blogger Kevin Seifert offers additional thoughts in the video.

$21,000 lesson on blindside block rule

October, 26, 2012
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Minnesota Vikings tight end and NFC West alum John Carlson suffered a concussion when the Arizona Cardinals' Rashad Johnson struck him during a punt return in Week 7.

Carlson, who has a history of concussions dating to his career in Seattle, missed the Vikings' game Thursday night. His health is obviously the most important factor relating to the play.

The play also produced a $21,000 league fine against Johnson for an illegal blindside hit. Officials levied a 15-yard penalty against Johnson and the Cardinals.

Carlson seemed to see Johnson approaching. He even lowered his shoulder as if to brace for impact. But when Johnson delivered a helmet-to-helmet blow on the play, an official threw a flag. The helmet-to-helmet aspect of the play was what referee Terry McAulay emphasized when announcing the penalty as a personal foul for unnecessary roughness.

"Illegal blindside block" was the penalty as listed in the NFL gamebook, and that was the notation when the league fined Johnson, according to various reports.

One of the NFL definitions for a defenseless player is one who "receivers a blindside block when the blocker is moving toward or parallel to his own end line and approaches the opponent from behind or from the side."

Whether Carlson saw Johnson coming doesn't seem to be pivotal to the ruling or the fine. Carlson was moving parallel to his own end line. Johnson approached from the side and and struck him. Johnson made helmet-to-helmet contact, too.

That's a penalty and a fine, according to the league.

Campbell: Player of week, and beyond

September, 19, 2012
9/19/12
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NFC West teams used 2008 second-round draft choices for Donnie Avery (St. Louis), John Carlson (Seattle) and Chilo Rachal (San Francisco).

The division landed one other second-rounder that year: Calais Campbell, chosen 50th overall by Arizona.

Campbell is the only one of the four remaining with his original team. The defensive end is also the NFC's defensive player of the week after collecting two sacks, three quarterback hits and 10 tackles during the Cardinals' 20-18 victory at New England in Week 2.

As the Cardinals noted in their news release, Campbell becomes the first player in team history to receive such an honor in multiple categories. He was previously named the NFC's top special-teams player following a 2009 game against Jacksonville.

The 6-foot-8 Campbell blocked a field goal in Arizona's opening-week victory over Seattle. He blocked three last season and has blocked six for his career.

Campbell hasn't been the only defensive standout for the 2-0 Cardinals.

Darnell Dockett dominated against Seattle in Week 1 and easily could have been a worthy choice for the award. Dockett also deflected Tom Brady's first pass Sunday, facilitating an interception. He later made a key tackle for loss.

Linebacker Daryl Washington and Paris Lenon have flourished to this point as well. I thought Arizona's coverage in the secondary has been excellent as well. Coverage contributed to the Cardinals' four-sack total against New England.
The Seattle Seahawks hoped to re-sign tight end John Carlson this offseason.

Carlson
Winslow
They had envisioned pairing Carlson with Zach Miller to create a dynamic combination at the position, expanding the possibilities for a coaching staff that had been looking for a player versatile enough to serve a range of roles, including H-back.

In retrospect, losing Carlson to the Minnesota Vikings might not have been such a bad thing for the Seahawks. The team rebounded by acquiring Kellen Winslow from Tampa Bay. Carlson, who missed the 2010 season with a shoulder injury suffered in camp, landed on the Vikings' injured list Tuesday. He's got a sprained MCL that will keep him off the field for several weeks, most likely.

There is no way to know whether Carlson would have been injured had he remained with Seattle, but a clear pattern is emerging for the player Mike Holmgren once thought would end the Seahawks' search for stability at the position. As Kevin Seifert notes, Carlson has suffered a serious concussion during a playoff game against Chicago, the shoulder injury in camp last year and now the knee injury -- all since January 2011.

Winslow has his own injury concerns. He's practicing every other day to protect a chronic knee problem. But he hasn't missed a game over the past three seasons. Winslow has played all 16 games in five of the past six seasons.

Carlson's latest injury might wind up being a temporary setback. For now, though, it feels like more than that.
NFL teams are pretty much finished tweaking their rosters until training camps begin later this month.

Organized team activities have passed, as have minicamps.

It's a good time to reassess where teams stand and where they might be headed at various positions based on the admittedly limited information available at this time. So, beginning with this item and continuing through Tuesday, I'll offer up for consideration roster breakdowns for each NFC West team, beginning with the offenses.

Quarterbacks (4)

Average number kept since 2003: 2.8

Safest bets: Matt Flynn, Russell Wilson, Tarvaris Jackson

Leading contenders: Josh Portis

Longer odds: none

Comment: The plan calls for Jackson, Flynn and Wilson to take turns with the first-team offense when training camp opens. The roster spots for Flynn and Wilson appear most secure. Jackson's situation appears most volatile. He could start, he could serve as a veteran backup at a reduced salary or he could be released. Seattle has to hope Flynn or Wilson takes advantage of the opportunity, on the theory that Jackson has most likely peaked. The Seahawks still like Portis as well, but keeping four quarterbacks isn't a realistic option.

Running backs (7)

Average number kept since 2003: 5.1

Safest bets: Marshawn Lynch, Leon Washington, Robert Turbin, Michael Robinson

Leading contenders: Kregg Lumpkin, Tyrell Sutton

Longer odds: Vai Taua

Comment: Turbin becomes the big back Seattle wanted as insurance for Lynch. Washington emerges as the undisputed change-of-pace back after the Seahawks decided against re-signing Justin Forsett, who landed in Houston. Robinson's value on special teams and at fullback would seem to buy security for him at a position of decreasing value around the league.

Wide receivers (13)

Average number kept since 2003: 5.3

Safest bets: Sidney Rice, Doug Baldwin, Golden Tate

Leading contenders: Kris Durham, Ricardo Lockette, Ben Obomanu, Mike Williams, Deon Butler

Longer odds: Phil Bates, Charly Martin, Lavasier Tuinei, Cameron Kenney

Comment: Baldwin appears to be the receiver Seattle can count on the most. That is good and bad. The team needs Rice to hold up physically after undergoing surgeries on both shoulders this offseason. Concussions were another problem for Rice last season. Tate was ascending when last season ended. The broken hand he suffered this offseason prevented Tate from participating fully in minicamps. He needs to avoid additional setbacks to build on last season. Durham could make Williams expendable. Lockette's speed separates him from the other receivers on the roster. He's raw, but two long receptions late last season showed big-play potential.

Tight ends (5)

Average number kept since 2003: 3.2

Safest bets: Zach Miller, Kellen Winslow

Leading contenders: Anthony McCoy, Cameron Morrah

Longer odds: Sean McGrath

Comment: Winslow's addition altered Seattle's outlook at the position. The team hopes to use him in tandem with Miller to force unfavorable matchups upon opponents. The plan will be to pound away with Lynch if defenses play sub packages against Miller and Winslow, or to pass if teams show base looks. That was part of the plan a year ago as well, but John Carlson's injury limited Seattle's options. Carlson's departure in free agency stung. Winslow was a viable fallback even though knee problems limit his speed and prevent him from practicing regularly.

Offensive linemen (15)

Average number kept since 2003: 9.1

Safest bets: Russell Okung, Paul McQuistan, Max Unger, John Moffitt, Breno Giacomini, James Carpenter, Deuce Lutui

Leading contenders: Alex Barron, J.R. Sweezy, Frank Omiyale, Allen Barbre, Rishaw Johnson, Lemuel Jeanpierre

Longer odds: Edawn Coughman, Paul Fanaika

Comment: Seattle has kept 10 offensive linemen in Week 1 during each of its first two seasons under coach Pete Carroll. Short-term injury concerns generally play into any decision to keep more than nine. Seattle figures to save a spot early in the season by leaving Carpenter on the physically unable to perform list. That would leave room, in theory, for three players from the "leading contenders" list above. Jeanpierre has value as a guard with the ability to back up at center. Moffitt also got work at center this offseason. Johnson made a positive impression as an undrafted rookie this offseason. Barbre will serve a suspension to open the season. Barron could project as a swing tackle.
NFC West teams added or re-signed 38 unrestricted free agents during the recently completed UFA signing period. They lost or did not re-sign 47 such players.

One key difference between those groups: age.

The St. Louis Rams in particular used the UFA signing period to get younger. The 12 UFAs they added (11) or re-signed (one) averaged 2.49 years younger than the 20 UFAs they lost (six) or have not re-signed (14). The gap was 1.39 years younger on average throughout the division. The Rams have the youngest roster in the NFL, based on averages I maintain for every team in the league.

Some older UFAs never sign another NFL contract. They disappear from rosters and realize, perhaps a year or two later, that they've been retired.

The chart shows age differences for the 38 UFA players added or re-signed versus the 47 lost to other teams or still unsigned. According to the NFL, 143 UFAs changed teams across the league this offseason. Another 112 re-signed with their 2011 teams.

Unsigned players remain free to sign with another team, but the NFL will not count them as UFA signings. The distinction matters in part because only UFA additions and losses count toward the formula for determining compensatory draft choices. That formula relies heavily on player salaries. UFAs available this late in the process generally wouldn't command enough money to affect compensatory picks, anyway.

A quick look at which UFA players from NFC West teams did not sign or re-sign as UFAs:
The 27 unsigned UFAs from the NFC West average 31.38 years old, about 3.3 years older than the 22 UFAs signed from other teams.

Nine of the 27 are at least 33 years old. Another 12 are between 29 and 32. Justin King, former cornerback for the Rams, is the youngest at 25 years old.

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