Thursday, February 23, 2012
NFC West combine closing notes: Thursday
By Mike Sando
INDIANAPOLIS -- Four quick notes, one from each NFC West team, to cap a Thursday from the NFL scouting combine:
- Arizona Cardinals: Coach Ken Whisenhunt and general manager Rod Graves made it clear they'd like to bring back tackle Levi Brown. Whisenhunt has backed Brown publicly, so this was not exactly a revelation. Brown would return under a reduced contract. Graves: "Yes, we would love to have Levi back. Those discussions with his agent are ongoing and I hope to pick up the intensity of those discussions in the next few days and into next week. Obviously, our objective is to try get a deal in place with him to have him with us for an extended period." Brown could move back to right tackle if the Cardinals drafted a superior option for the left side.
- Seattle Seahawks: GM John Schneider expressed strong appreciation for what defensive end Red Bryant adds in the locker room. He pointed to Bryant as a core player. Bryant could still consider opportunities elsewhere, but the fit is perfect in Seattle. Bryant should have more value to the Seahawks than to other teams, in my view. Schneider also said the franchise tag is an option for running back Marshawn Lynch in the absence of a long-term agreement. I considered that a given and arguably more appealing to the team than committing longer-term money at a position where durability can be fleeting.
- St. Louis Rams: Coach Jeff Fisher and GM Les Snead are on the media schedule for Friday. Fisher is set for 11 a.m. ET, with Snead three hours later. USC tackle Matt Kalil, a possibility for the Rams and other teams picking near the top of the draft, weighed 306 pounds Thursday. That was 11 pounds above his listed college weight. He appeared lean and indicated that would remain the case even if he put on additional weight. Fisher's teams have never drafted an offensive lineman in the first round, but the Rams do have obvious needs on their line.
- San Francisco 49ers: Those hoping the 49ers will dive hard into the free-agent market for receivers might be disappointed. None of the unrestricted free agents the team signed from other teams last offseason earned more than $4.25 million per season. I asked GM Trent Baalke when the right time would be for the 49ers or any team to invest heavily in a free agent from the outside. Baalke: "There's reasons why we don't do it and I'm not going to get into those reasons of why we operate the way we do. It's just our own philosophy. But if you are asking me when is the right time, I don't know that there is a right time. It is really an individual question for the 32 people making the decisions across the NFL for their own team. ... The model that we use isn't much different than certain other people in the National Football League that have been successful. Does it guarantee us that we are going to have success? Each year is a new year. But we're going to be very consistent with how we operate."
Thanks for following along. NFL officials are about to close the media room at Lucas Oil Stadium. I'm going to find a meal.