Around the NFC West: Options open on Boldin
Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando
Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic quotes Cardinals general manager Rod Graves as saying the organization must "remain open at all times to possibilities" that could include trading Boldin. Graves: "We still recognize him as a core player and one that we would like to extend, but I think we have to remain open at all times to possibilities. To this point, we have not made any considerations for a trade, and we're focused primarily on trying to make this relationship beneficial for our team." A slight shift in tone?
Darren Urban of azcardinals.com says Kurt Warner's message to teens about accepting those with disabilities coincided with his recent hip surgery. As a result, Warner was getting around on crutches when he addressed the students. Urban: "The program is dear to the Warners' hearts since oldest son Zach is disabled. Brenda Warner told a story how Zach was just invited to his first birthday party recently -- and Zach is 19 years old."
Revenge of the Birds' Andrew602 looks at how Ohio State running back Chris Wells might fit with the Cardinals. Andrew602: "He has great explosiveness, and would be exactly what the Cardinals need to make their offense the best in the league. He has a personality that other players like, and has no character issues. He and Hightower would become a powerful 1-2 punch, and would wear out defenses."
Doug Farrar of Football Outsiders explains why he thinks Boldin has tremendous value to the Cardinals. By Football Outsiders' count, Boldin finished second in the league last season with 595 yards after the catch. Boldin averaged 6.1 yards after the catch, compared to 3.8 for new Seahawks receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh.
Bill Barnwell of Football Outsiders has fun with a mock draft by forecasting five trades that might make sense for the teams involved. He sends linebacker Aaron Curry (Rams), tackle Eugene Monroe (Seahawks), linebacker Everette Brown (49ers) and defensive end Michael Johnson (Cardinals) to the NFC West. Barnwell has the Cardinals trading up to No. 16 with San Diego before taking Johnson from Ken Whisenhunt's alma mater, Georgia Tech.
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee says the 49ers could still take a tackle with the 10th overall choice even if they signed a veteran at the position during free agency. The 49ers think there's a chance the top four tackles could be gone by the 10th choice.
Paul Gutierrez of the Sacramento Bee takes a quick look at Jed York's role in representing the 49ers at the league level. York's father still takes the lead at times in these settings, but the younger York is more involved in football operations.
Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times puts into perspective Leonard Weaver's recent comments (video here) about divisions in the Seahawks' locker room. O'Neil: "It's important to remember what position Weaver played and the players he spent the most time with in meetings in so forth: The running backs. There was no position where there was such a clear delineation of players signed for the future and players who had been there for coach Mike Holmgren's past." Sounds like the Philadelphia media is going to have fun with Weaver.
John Morgan of Field Gulls takes a closer look at Matthew Stafford, while reiterating that the Seahawks must draft him if the quarterback is available at No. 4 and the team thinks he can become a top quarterback. The conclusion? Stay tuned.
Also from Morgan: A look back at how the Seahawks used -- and did not use -- T.J. Duckett last season. Morgan: "He's part power back, part cutback rusher and part feature back. If short yardage be an indicator, he has the most awkward approach I've ever seen. He's all knees and elbows. All knees and elbows on a 6-foot, 250-pound frame. And when he uncoils, he glides with a clunky effortlessness that's something to behold."
Chris Sullivan of Seahawk Addicts looks at Wonderlic scores for the quarterbacks Seattle general manager Tim Ruskell's teams have drafted. Sullivan: "What seems clear to me is that Ruskell does not weight the Wonderlic score all that much, at least not for QBs. Like anything else in the draft, the Wonderlic score, 40-yard dash, arm length, etc., will rarely change anything unless they are dramatically off from expected. They are pieces of data and not stories in and of themselves."
Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says the Rams have had some luck with compensatory choices in recent seasons, but they will not in 2009. Every NFC West team but the Rams picked up at least one comp pick this year. Thomas: "The signing of offensive guard Jacob Bell by the Rams last year to a $36 million contract in free agency far outweighed any free agents lost by the team. As a result, the Rams received no extra picks this year."VanRam of Turf Show Times touches on labor issues before providing some Rams-related links, including one to a Scout.com report saying the team plans to meet with Cincinnati cornerback Mike Mickens later this month.