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Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Around the NFC West: Watching Warner


Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

John Crumpacker of the San Francisco Chronicle says the 49ers might meet again with Kurt Warner, according to general manager Scot McCloughan. McCloughan: "It's still a work in progress. It's been good. It's still up in the air. We're excited he's willing to come visit the 49ers."

Daniel Brown of the San Jose Mercury News says the 49ers' team president, Jed York, is leaving any negotiating to McCloughan and coach Mike Singletary, with Paraag Marathe handling financial details, as usual.

Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat says Warner spent nine hours with the 49ers before heading back to Arizona. Maiocco: "Warner, his family and his agent will get together and mull the offers. I'm sure they'll inform the Cardinals of what the 49ers have offered and see if the Cardinals are willing to increase their offer. They'll also see if there are any other teams that want to enter the picture. And, then, a decision will be made."

Also from Maiocco: a transcript of McCloughan's brief exchange with reporters as the GM left the 49ers' facility.

More from Maiocco: He expects the 49ers to make an offer to Warner exceeding the Cardinals' offer.

Lisa Goodwin of 49ers.com writes about the team's celebrity crab-cracking contest. No mention of Warner's visit on the site, as far as I can see.

Paola Boivin of the Arizona Republic speaks with another Kurt Warner -- this one a 48-year-old truck driver from North Carolina -- who doesn't have a problem with the Cardinals' Kurt Warner seeking to maximize his paycheck.

Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic says it's unknown whether the 49ers made a contract offer to Warner during the quarterback's visit.

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com explains why he thinks Arizona is a better fit for Warner. Urban: "The Cardinals have in their favor a better offensive system (tailored to Warner), better receivers, better playing conditions and coaches with whom Warner is familiar, in addition to being the place where his family now has roots (and a cheaper cost of living). How many more millions is that worth? What would the Niners have to do to tip the scale -- assuming that is possible?"

Clare Farnsworth of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer says T.J. Houshmandzadeh's signing in Seattle probably spells the end for Bobby Engram's Seahawks career.

Also from Farnsworth: The Seahawks signed Colin Cole to solidify "the spot next to Brandon Mebane" on the defensive line.

Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times says the Seahawks' pursuit of Houshmandzadeh, complete with a ride by sea plane to team headquarters -- matched the vision CEO Tod Leiweke had when the team began planning its new headquarters.

John Morgan of Field Gulls takes a second look at Cole, concluding that the 330-pounder isn't the classic two-gap run plugger -- in a good way. Morgan: "Instead of moving Mebane, Seattle might want to entertain keeping Mebane where he's excelled, at the one, and starting Cole at the three. Green Bay eventually moved Cole over to the three tech. He's not a traditional three, but he has some hybrid qualities."

William Tomisser of Seahawk Addicts dives into KJR radio's interview with Seahawks defensive end Lawrence Jackson, noting that Jackson played hurt as a rookie.

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says cornerback Ron Bartell felt better about re-signing with the Rams after seeing the team move aggressively in free agency. Bartell also said he developed a strong rapport with new coach Steve Spagnuolo during an initial meeting, and he also felt comfortable with GM Billy Devaney. Previously, Bartell hadn't even met acting GM Jay Zygmunt. Bartell: "Here I was a second-round draft pick, and I had not had one conversation with the previous general manager. Not one. How do you have a GM that doesn't even speak to the players? I've been one of the core players and I didn't even talk to the man. And when the top is not in order, it trickles from the top of the team down." 

Also from Thomas: The Rams are looking at backup tight ends, but Billy Bajema has not yet lined up a visit to St. Louis. Bajema will meet with the Jets.

Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch likes the Rams' first few moves in free agency.