NFC West: Magic Johnson
March, 28, 2012
By Mike Sando | ESPN.com
St. Louis Rams owner Stan Kroenke will not have one foot in the Los Angeles market while negotiating for an improved stadium situation.
That was the net effect when Kroenke's bid to purchase the Los Angeles Dodgers fell short Tuesday night. The group led by Lakers legend Magic Johnson prevailed with a bid for $2.15 billion. Kroenke had been one of three finalists.
Tony Jackson and Dave McMenamin of ESPNLosAngeles.com have the details. Noted: Owning the Rams and the Dodgers would have put Kroenke at odds with the NFL's policy on cross-ownership. While moving the Rams to Los Angeles would have averted any conflict, it's not likely Kroenke could have made such a move anytime soon. But perceptions matter, and having Kroenke own the Dodgers would only strengthen long-held fears the Rams might move back to California.
Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says Kroenke "bristled" when asked how involved he was in the Edward Jones Dome lease situation. Kroenke: "I’m the owner of the team. Unless you haven’t noticed, I've been involved 20 years. I've put a lot of my life, not just my personal (finances) at risk for this enterprise. And that might be something good to mention sometimes."
Brady Henderson of 710ESPN Seattle says incumbent quarterback Tarvaris Jackson is looking forward to competing with newcomer Matt Flynn for the Seahawks' starting job. Fullback Michael Robinson: "He was excited. He said, 'Mike, you know, this always happens to me and I'm ready for it to bring the best out of me.' "
Clare Farnsworth of seahawks.com checks in with former right tackle Steve August, who has this to say about his favorite moment as a player: "It would have to be beating the Dolphins in Miami in 1983 (in a divisional playoff game). And then winning the week before in the Kingdome (against the Broncos) in the first-ever playoff game. That was pretty awesome. But coming back from Miami, the fan support at the airport was just unbelievable. So I’d say experiencing that first playoff run for the Seahawks."
Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times explains the Seahawks' thinking at linebacker: "I'm going to say given the results we've seen with the players this team has grabbed, whether it's K.J. Wright or Malcolm Smith (if he stays healthy), that LB might be a position where they can 'find' guys rather than pay a premium."
Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic takes a round-by-round look at the best draft choices in Cardinals history since the team came to Arizona for the 1988 season. Somers on the third round: "Cornerback Aeneas Williams (1991) -- Another easy one, even though the Cardinals have had some decent luck in this round. But Williams likely will be the first Hall of Famer in the team's Arizona history. Runner up -- Safety Adrian Wilson (2001). A fixture in the starting lineup since 2002, Wilson is coming off one of his best seasons. This was not an easy choice because end Darnell Dockett (2004) is pretty good, too. Linebacker Gerald Hayes (2003) and receiver Ricky Proehl (1990) had productive careers."
Darren Urban of azcardinals.com says restricted free agent Greg Toler is eager to bounce back from a knee injury. Toler recently signed his one-year qualifying offer.
Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com says the 49ers' workout with former Cardinals guard Deuce Lutui was the latest indication San Francisco is looking for a low-cost fallback for second-year guard Daniel Kilgore. Maiocco: "Lutui, a second-round pick of the Cardinals in 2006, has appeared in 93 games with 72 career starts. In July, Lutui (listed at 6-foot-4, 338 pounds) signed with the Cincinnati Bengals as a free agent but did not pass the physical, reportedly showing up overweight. The Cardinals re-signed Lutui, who spent last season backing up right guard Rex Hadnot." Noted: Lutui is plenty talented. He can be a good starting guard. Lutui has not been consistent enough in his approach to stay in the lineup, however, and his relative lack of versatility makes him less valuable as a backup. That is why the Cardinals preferred to sign Adam Snyder from the 49ers.
Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle says durability is a key for the 49ers' defense. Branch, upon discovering that the team's defensive starters missed a combined eight games last season: "It was the continuation of a trend. In 2010, the 49ers’ defensive starters missed two games due to injury. In 2009, they missed 11. In 2008, they missed three games. Yes, Justin Smith isn’t the defense’s only iron man. Nose guard Isaac Sopoaga, for example, has missed two games since 2005. Linebacker Parys Harlson has started 56 of the Niners’ past 57 games. Safety Dashon Goldson has started 46 of 48 games since 2009 and linebacker Patrick Willis started 75 of his first 76 career games prior to last year’s hamstring injury."