What a crazy week for the NFC West. Our own favorite team, the Arizona Cardinals, headlined the week, losing Antrel Rolle, Karlos Dansby, and Anquan Boldin, then quickly trading for Jets safety Kerry Rhodes to replace Rolle. While the Cardinals were easily the most newsworthy team in the first few days of free agency, the rest of the NFC West also had a busy week.
San Francisco 49ers: It was just reported tonight that former 1st round QB David Carr decided to sign with the San Francisco 49ers. Carr was pursued by a number of teams, including our very own Cardinals, and signed for 2 years for around $3-4 million (exact numbers have not been released). While this means the Cardinals lost out on one of their free agent targets, it is nice to think that David Carr thinks he has a better chance of beating out Alex Smith than Matt Leinart. Funny enough, Carr’s career has been very similar to Alex Smith’s. Both QBs were selected with the first pick in their respective drafts, and neither lived up to expectations. Star linebacker Patrick Willis already criticized Carr on his Twitter, saying that the 49ers had three quarterbacks better than Carr, but later said he would welcome Carr as he would any new teammate. In other free agency news, backup right tackle Tony Pashos left the team for the Cleveland Browns.
St. Louis Rams: The Rams recently agreed to terms with two free agents, and interestingly enough their two positions which the Rams are most likely to draft. QB A.J. Feeley signed with the Rams on Friday, while DT Fred Robbins signed with them on Saturday. Feeley spent 2009 with the Panthers and did not play at all. As a backup to QB Donovon Mcnabb in Philadelphia, Feeley was once considered the best young backup QB in football. However, injuries to Mcnabb thurst Feeley into the starting lineup where he failed to match up to expectations. Fred Robbins, a 32 year old defensive tackle, most recently played in New York, where he had a good relationship with current Rams head coach Steve Spagnulo. He shores up the defensive line position for the Rams and will compete for a starting job. Both of these moves points to the Rams picking a QB with the first pick. Feeley would be an ideal QB to mentor a younger player, while Robbins is a serviceable player who can fill in on the defensive line. While right after the season, most experts were all but guaranteeing defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh would be the first pick in the draft, that thinking has changed. Many believe that while Suh is the best player in the draft, the economics of the league make paying a defensive tackle that much money a foolish move. Only QBs, defensive ends, elite WRs, and elite CBs should be making the amount the Rams would have to give Suh and this has changed the thinking in St. Louis.
The Rams are also deciding what to do with FS Oshlomogho Atogwe. Atogwe received a ridiculously low tender from the Rams, which gives them the right of first refusal. However, they need to upgrade this tender (which is about $1.5 million) to around $7 million in June. This gives them time to decide what they want to do with Atogwe, who many believe was the best defensive player on the team last year. We’ll keep you updated about this story, as he is one of the best safeties in the NFC West.
The Rams are also said to be flirting with the idea of acquiring Donovon Mcnabb. Many in Philly believe it is the time to trade Mcnabb, but head coach Andy Reid is a huge opponent of the idea (literally). There is nothing concrete about this rumor yet, so we’ll see what happens.
Seattle Seahawks: While the start of free agency saw one star receiver leave the NFC West, the Seahawks are trying to bring another one in. Embattled Broncos receiver Brandon Marshall visited the Seahawks this week in an attempt to leave the Broncos. Marshall is a restricted free agent and will be quite difficult to sign. He received a first round tender from the Broncos, meaning that if the Seahawks sign Marshall to an offer sheet, the Broncos have a right to match, and if they decide not to, will receive a first round pick from the Hawks. Although the Seahawks have two first round picks, it has been widely reported that they would lose the sixth pick in the draft, not the 14th pick. The Seahawks do need to make a move for a receiver, as long time deep threat Nate Burleson left the Hawks for the Lions once free agency began. However, many are wondering if Brandon Marshall is worth a first round pick. I personally am hoping the Seahawks decide it’s not worth it, because the number 6 pick in the draft would likely make as much money as Marshall is requesting and would be an unproven player. Brandon Marshall is one of the best receivers in the league and keeping him out of the NFC West is something that every Cardinals fans should hope for.
In draft news, the Seahawks are requesting a workout from Florida QB Tim Tebow. No word yet on what their interest is or what round of the draft they would consider picking him, but I for one am hoping they use the number 6 pick on Tebow (a guy can hope right?)