NFC West: Jovan Haye
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says Cardinals receiver Anquan Boldin did not give the team a deadline to make a contract offer. Boldin had told XTRA-910's Mike Jurecki he would accept offers through Tuesday, but his agent was not taking that tack with management. Issuing such a deadline would have made little sense from a strategic standpoint.
Revenge of the Birds' Hawkwind looks at the Cardinals' situation at offensive tackle. Mike Gandy is coming off another strong season. Levi Brown improved, but he's still not playing at a level to match his draft status.
John Crumpacker of the San Francisco Chroncile says the 49ers expect to have more salary-cap room than all but five or six teams when free agency opens. Crumpacker: "Even in a bad economy, the 49ers will have money to spend when the free-agency signing period begins at 9:01 p.m. PDT Thursday." I would differentiate between cap room and cash to spend. Having the former doesn't necessarily mean the team has the latter.
David Fucillo of Niners Nation wonders which running back the 49ers will add to their backfield as a complement to Frank Gore.
John Morgan of Field Gulls isn't sure where the Seahawks will find a defensive tackle to start alongside Brandon Mebane. He comes back to free agent Jovan Haye. Morgan: "Shaun Cody should be very cheap, but his struggles are real and one wonders if he's really more valuable than a no-name toiling on another team's practice squad. ... Haye is a very good one-gap tackle that could function as a situational end, but isn't stout against run and presents many of the same problems as [Craig] Terrill. Chris Canty is mega-expensive (or thinks he should be) and better suited for a 3-4. Haye or Cody makes the most sense. Either could start and neither buries [Red] Bryant if he breaks out."
Also from Morgan: Receiver Ronald Curry could make sense for Seattle in free agency.
Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch wasn't sure if the post-combine outlook became more or less clear for the Rams with the second overall choice in the draft. But he does know this: "The Rams won't be drafting Andre Smith, the aggressive but immature offensive tackle from Alabama. Never mind the questions about his work habits or weight control; those weren't the big issues surrounding Smith in Indy. Smith never really answered questions about why he got suspended from the Sugar Bowl. Then he played it coy about whether he was working out at the combine or not. It's one thing to say such things to the media; Smith apparently did the same to NFL teams, including the Rams."
VanRam of Turf Show Times takes a look at the Rams heading into free agency.
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says the Cardinals arrived in Tampa early with the wind at their backs. Emotions ran high. Defensive end Bertrand Berry fought tears.
More from Somers, with Bob McManaman: Larry Fitzgerald is 15 pounds lighter this season.
Paola Boivin of the Arizona Republic says the Cardinals don't mind the underdog role.
Dan Bickley of the Arizona Republic examines the chilly relationship between Cardinals coach Ken Whisenhunt and Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger.
Darren Urban of azcardinals.com says the Cardinals didn't seem to be relishing the spotlight during their first media session at Super Bowl XLIII. Anquan Boldin said he wished this were a regular week.
Also from Urban: A look behind the scenes as Whisenhunt and Adrian Wilson made an appearance on NFL Network.
Mike Tulumello of the East Valley Tribune provides an overview of the Cardinals' first day in Tampa. Wilson says the Cardinals are here to win the game, not to enjoy the week.
Scott Bordow of the East Valley Tribune says Super Bowls are won on Sunday and sometimes lost earlier in the week.
Mike Branom of the East Valley Tribune says about 1,800 people attended a rally sending off the Cardinals from Phoenix.
Revenge of the Birds' Hawkwind looks at the Cardinals' improved running game.
More Cardinals news here: A Google news feed with the latest headlines.
Clare Farnsworth of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer looks at the Seahawks' issues in the secondary. Farnsworth: "The most glaring shortcoming was the lack of a playmaker -- and size -- at the cornerback spot opposite Marcus Trufant. Kelly Jennings, a 180-pounder who is called 'Slim' by his teammates, started the season, but was not the answer. The coaches then turned to Josh Wilson, a more aggressive player, but one who is 5-feet-9."
Jim Moore of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer wants to know what Leroy Hill was doing in a 1975 Buick Electra when authorities found him passed out behind the wheel. Moore speaks with the motorist who reported Hill to police, and with car dealers versed in all things Buick.
Pro Football Weekly corroborates the Seahawks' potential interest in receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh, noting that Koren Robinson's knee issues are a concern.
Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune looks at what the Seahawks must do to become a Super Bowl team again.
John Morgan of Field Gulls sizes up Jovan Haye as a potential free agent of interest for the Seahawks.
Also from Morgan: He really likes Seahawks defensive tackle Brandon Mebane, for good reason.
Bryan Burwell of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says Rams fans should show patience with the team's new leadership. Burwell on the Rams' draft plans: "Of course, if you want guesswork, I can play along. Michael Crabtree. Yes, it has to be the game-changing wide receiver from Texas Tech. That's a popular pick, and it might even make sense if the Rams are able to sign a beast of an offensive tackle or two in free agency. But knowing what I have learned about the particular habits of the Rams' general manager, it's foolhardy to speculate what's on [Billy] Devaney's mind."
Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch provides an update on the Rams' search for new assistant coaches. Paul Ferraro, Dick Curl and Frank Leonard have joined the staff.
Rick Herrin of the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram says he spotted 49ers defensive coordinator Greg Manusky going out to dinner with Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and head coach Wade Phillips. Herrin: "Could San Francisco 49ers defensive coordinator Greg Manusky be a possibility? He is good buddies with Wade Phillips and the two worked together in San Diego when Manusky was linebackers coach."
Jennifer Floyd-Engel of the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram previously suggested the 49ers had fired Manusky. Floyd-Engel then provides an update reading, "Just heard from the 49ers, who say Manusky is under contract and, as far as they know, not going to be fired." Hmmm.