NFC West Roundup: Free Agency, Free Agency, Free Agency!

Sims-Walker is just one of a few new faces to the NFC West. (Photo by Rick Stewart/Getty Images)

Since the start of the offseason after the end of the NFL lockout, it has pretty much been crazy on every single football website. It seems that everyone has been starved and have shown up for a buffet. You have been kept up to date on the news dealing with the Arizona Cardinals. Now it is time to keep up with what is going around the NFC West. 

As they say -- know thy enemy...

St. Louis Rams:

 

St. Louis Rams free agents: Devaney looking for solid starters, not "one guy" - Turf Show Times
Billy Devaney, the St. Louis Rams general manager, discussed his team's approach to free agency this year, this year and every year, on KNFS, local sports talk radio. As you might have guessed, the big names are not the priority. Instead, the GM wants to improve the team another way.

 

Rams free agency: To splash or not to splash - Turf Show Times
Two schools of though on the St. Louis Rams reported interest in free agent WR Sidney Rice, who the Seahawks eventually signed to a rich contract. Really, it's the same debate we have about free agency every year when it comes to the Rams, every bloody year. In one camp, you have those that support the cautious approach. On the other side of the isle, angry partisans upset with a conservative approach to free agency. 

 

NFL free agent rumors: More receiver talk for Rams - Turf Show Times
Hungry fans have plenty of NFL free agent rumors to feed on after missing out on February's free agent theater. After announcing deals with G Harvey Dahl and LB Zac Diles, the St. Louis Rams are again the subject of more rumors, this time connecting them with Plaxico Burress.

 

St. Louis Rams sign Mike Sims-Walker - Turf Show Times
The St. Louis Rams have added a veteran wide receiver, but not one of the World War I veterans, like Plaxico Burress, that had been talked about so often. From out of nowhere, free agent WR Mike Sims-Walker reported that he is now a Ram. 

Seattle Seahawks:

 

The Seahawks Free Agency 411: What's Been Happening, and What to Expect - Field Gulls
Alright, so the Seahawks have been wheeling and dealing now for a little over three days now and have made some major moves. We've kept you up to date on the happenings so far -- the initial UDFA signings (agreements) in real time on Monday night, the rest of the UDFA signings on Tuesday, the Tarvaris Jackson, Robert Gallery, and Sidney Rice signings.

 

Quick Thoughts on the Alan Branch Addition - Field Gulls
Because I did do a little lobbying for Alan Branch I thought I'd talk about it a little bit now that he's been signed by the Seahawks (agreement in principle anyway). As I said before, I think Branch provides good, competent depth on the defensive line and he can do so at several spots. He was drafted 33rd overall in 2007 out of MIchigan to play the nose tackle position for Arizona but didn't live up to expectations there. He was moved to defensive end last season and had some success but ultimately only started three games. He logged 2 sacks and 2 forced fumbles, and incidentally those two sacks came against the Seahawks.

 

The Vikings.. I Mean Seahawks Replay Booth: Tarvaris Jackson to Sidney Rice - Field Gulls
I'm in the process of going back and taking a look at some Tarvaris Jackson (and Sidney Rice) tape to try and give myself, and by extension, you, a better glimpse of what to expect, and I ran across a play that's worth mentioning. First, it shows Jackson's arm strength and Rice's leaping ability, his skill in tracking the pass and adjusting to it, and his talent in coming down with the ball. All in all - I think it's something that you can hope to, or even expect to see in 2011 from the Hawks. You can watch the play here.

 

DT Brandon Mebane Re-signs with the Seahawks - Field Gulls
ohn Boyle and others are reporting the Seahawks have re-signed Brandon Mebane. John Clayton (via Tony Softli) is putting it at a 5-year, $25 million contract and (via David Hsu) $5 million in guarantees, which is cheaper than I expected.

San Francisco 49ers:

 

Frank Gore, DeSean Jackson Possible Holdouts: Lockout-Induced? - Niners Nation
While we as San Francisco 49ers fans go nuts over a possible training camp holdout by Frank Gore, Philadelphia Eagles fans are dealing with a similar situation as word is out that DeSean Jackson also wants a new contract. It's a little bit different for them because the only inference of a holdout came from Michael Vick mentioning Jackson has some decisions to make. The Eagles pushed back the start of their camp one day so they can deal with the insanity of these past few days, but there is no official word yet as to whether Jackson will hold out. Technically neither is holding out yet since mandatory appearances aren't until tomorrow for both teams.

 

NFL Free Agents 2011: Travis LaBoy, Manny Lawson And The 49ers OLB Position - Niners Nation
Yesterday evening Barrows tweeted that San Diego, Seattle and San Francisco were all interested in outside linebacker Travis LaBoy. According to Barrows the priority was in that order, although based on his tweet it's hard to tell if that means those are the order of LaBoy's interest or the order in terms of who has offered the most, or what exactly. Whatever the case, the market is developing for LaBoy.

 

49ers Training Camp 2011: Curtis Holcomb Ruptures Achilles, Done For Season - Niners Nation
The 49ers 2011 season took yet another hit as seventh round pick Curtis Holcomb ruptured his Achilles Tendon. Barrows tweeted he'll undergo surgery and is likely done for the season. Unfortunately I think likely is probably not worth including in the tweet. A ruptured Achilles is an absolutely brutal injury and Holcomb faces a long recovery.

 

NFL Free Agents 2011: The Sounds Of Silence - Niners Nation
The Nnamdi sweepstakes are over and the 49ers remain silent in free agency since agreeing to terms with David Akers. The 49ers did make official their Alex Smith, Ray McDonald and Tony Wragge contracts. Other than that we haven't heard much. The collection of free agents they've been connected to include C Olin Kreutz, WR Malcolm Floyd, CB Chris Carr, QB Matt Moore and really not much else.

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