- Mike Sando, NFL Insider
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Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee offers a projected 49ers depth chart on defense. Barrows: "Yes, Nate Clements' salary jumps to $6 million in base this year. But the 49ers did not spend a high draft pick on a cornerback, and because of that it's difficult to see Clements leaving. My guess is that all the negative talk about Clements will serve as fuel for a very strong 2010 season. (Karl) Paymah is similar to former 49er Donald Strickland and likely will be in on a lot nickel packages. (Phillip) Adams and (Patrick) Stoudamire are projects. Stoudamire could play safety."
Also from Barrows: says 49ers director of player personnel Trent Baalke will walk reporters through film sessions featuring the team's new draft choices.
Art Spander of the San Francisco Examiner looks back on the career of late 49ers minority owner Frank Mieuli. Spander: "He put chandeliers in the Cow Palace and Rick Barry’s jersey behind an office door, delivered bags of fruit to sports writers and delivered a championship to the Bay Area. You could call Franklin Mieuli eccentric. I preferred to call him passionate. He had a beard, a deerstalker hat and a love of life. A character, that’s what Mieuli was: delightful and charming, if manipulative. He was the last of the mom-and-pop team owners, and the team he owned, the Golden State Warriors, did him proud."
Dave Boling of the Tacoma News Tribune pays tribute to retiring Seahawks tackle Walter Jones. Former teammate Robbie Tobeck: "He's more of a competitor than people realize. He’s so good and has such great ability, it almost looks effortless when he's putting somebody on his back. And the reason for it is how hard he works. He wasn’t some superstar who took days off. He’s also one of toughest human beings I’ve ever been around … the man laughs at pain."
Steve Kelley of the Seattle Times quotes former Seahawks line coach Howard Mudd this way on Jones: "He had this phenomenal athleticism. Walt is the kind of guy who does things so easily, it almost looks like he's playing at 75 or 80 percent. Like Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods, he never really struggles to get his job done, even when he's playing against the top NFL players. I don't think he ever lined up in a game where he thought he was closely matched, athletically, to the guy across from him."
Brian McIntyre of scout.com offers positional thoughts on the Seahawks' offense. He lists Deon Butler among the "locks" at receiver, a bit of a surprise.
Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times shoots down reports suggesting Seahawks CEO Tod Leiweke could leave to run the Tampa Bay Lightning. Nothing against hockey, but why would someone cede control of three professional sports franchises -- the Seahawks, Trail Blazers and Sounders -- to run an NHL team? Doesn't made sense.
Also from O'Neil: The Seahawks have made a couple roster moves. DeAngelo Willingham and Tom Malone are out. Matt Overton and Quinton Teal are in.
Greg Johns of seattlepi.com says new Seahawks defensive end Chris Clemons has high expectations.
Eric D. Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune says during a chat that he was surprised Golden Tate remained available to Seattle at No. 60. Williams: "I thought he would be a late first round, early second round pick. He's a playmaker that will help them immediately. I like getting Kam Chancellor when they did. I think he gives them a different dimension in the back end of the defense that they have not had in a while."
Ben Malcolmson of seahawks.com provides a photo of LenDale White and Pete Carroll chatting in Carroll's office at team headquarters.
Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says two Cardinals rookies -- Jim Dray and John Skelton -- come from families accomplished in business.
Darren Urban of azcardinals.com checks in with Cardinals offensive line coach Russ Grimm, who offers thoughts on how the team might proceed after adding Alan Faneca. Left guard Reggie Wells could move to right tackle, competing with Brandon Keith and Jeremy Bridges for the starting job.
Also from Urban: Quarterback Matt Leinart has switched lockers so he can be closer to the Cardinals' offensive linemen. Does he know what he's getting into from a pranks standpoint? Leinart: "I just wanted to be with my linemen -- simple as that. Now it’s all business. I’m not trying to do it to make a statement or anything, I’m just doing it because these are my guys. I just want them to know I’ll be a leader and I’ll have their back too. We can’t be an offense without them."
Bill Coats of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams will have about 30 players at their postdraft camp on a tryout basis. That is a high number. Coats: "Two practices are planned for both Friday and Saturday, with a final session scheduled for Sunday morning. All are closed to the public. The mandatory full-squad minicamp is June 10-12 and will be surrounded by four weeks of OTAs -- organized team activities, or light practices. Training camp begins in late July, also at Rams Park."
Also from Coats: Acquiring safety Kevin Payne from the Bears could be a hedge against losing Oshiomogho Atogwe.
Jeff Gordon of stltoday.com says the Rams need to keep Alex Barron as insurance this season.
Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says Barron told the team before the draft that he would sign his one-year tender and report to postdraft camp, according to Barron's agent. Thomas: "Barron has been an enigma since being drafted No. 19 overall out of Florida State in 2005. He has been one of the league's most penalized players over that span and occasionally has struggled blocking lesser players. But he frequently plays well against top tier defensive ends and has been durable. He has missed only two games because of injury in his career -- both late in his rookie season -- playing in 67 consecutive games, including 66 starts."