Here is some news on specific players and injuries along with speculation on free agency and what players may leave their respective teams. There is not a lot to report on, as everything is still moving quite slow with the NFL lockout, but here is your NFC West Roundup.
Colin Kaepernick Has Leg Surgey, Time To Overreact - Niners Nation
Colin Kaepernick, the quarterback taken in the second round by the San Francisco 49ers, recently underwent a minor leg surgery. While the procedure is considered to be minor and non-invasive, it is still bound to make the news given his position and the fact that he was just drafted. Jim Harbaugh and the 49ers staff apparently knew all along that he had this injury, even when they drafted Kaepernick. As the writer over at the Niners Nation blog suggests, it likely would not stop him from playing in this upcoming season. Also, it is suggested that he may not even play anyhow, being that he is a rookie, so having the surgery while he is able to sit and learn may not be such a horrible idea.
Manny Lawson, the outside linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers, is often looked at with skepticism. Lawson usually only plays in early down situations, therefore making his stats a little more difficult to dissect and his numbers are significantly lower than your average 3-down linebacker’s. In this article, Mike Sando from ESPN discusses that the 49ers would like to keep Lawson, but they are not sure what it would cost, especially if he becomes an unrestricted free agent under the new collective bargaining agreement. If it reverts to the 2010 rules, he would become a restricted free agent and the 49ers could retain for at least one more year while rookie first round draft pick Aldon Smith learns the ropes. If he becomes a free agent, look for teams such as the New England Patriots to throw some money at him, as they need a better pass rush badly. Here is some more viewpoints on Lawson over at Niners Nation.
Should Seahawks consider Vince Young? - NFC West Blog - ESPN
This article from Sando discusses how Vince Young, currently on the Tennessee Titans roster, could be an option for the Seattle Seahawks once the Titans release him. Given that the Seahawks only have Charlie Whitehurst on their current roster and are in the market for a quarterback as much as the Arizona Cardinals are, Vince Young could be an option. We all know the stories about how Young is a head case and an unstable leader, but could a players coach like Pete Carroll get through to him? After all, he was able to turn the career of receiver Mike Williams around. The options the Seahawks could go are abundant, but a guy like Young could be the answer considering his ability to show that he can win ballgames for your club.
Field Gulls, the SB Nation Seattle Seahawks blog, discusses two other options aside from Vince Young that could be brought in to play quarterback. One is a name that we have all heard in Carson Palmer from the Cincinnati Bengals. But what about the other option I mentioned? It is a name that I have not heard until this post. Bruce Gradkowski is currently on the Oakland Raiders roster along with Jason Campbell and he may be looking at free agency once the league opens up for business again. Danny Kelly, the lead blogger for Field Gulls, suggests that Gradkowski may not be retained by the Raiders and could come compete for the #2 spot on the depth chart of the Seahawks. If anything, he can fall behind Charlie Whitehurst and the other veteran they bring in to play quarterback and be a reliable #3 on the Seattle Seahawks. To be honest, I would love to see a guy like this on the Arizona Cardinals roster. He could compete for the #2 spot with John Skelton and give Skelton more time to learn, while possibly showing him some things he knows. Gradkowski is a solid backup no matter what team he ends up on.
More news has emerged on possible running backs that could end up on the St. Louis Rams roster as supplements to all-star Steven Jackson. San Diego Chargers return man Darren Sproles will more than likely end up on another team and he would not command too much money on the open market. Sproles is definitely an option for the Rams as he is a good receiver out of the backfield and he could play special teams for them. The better option, in my opinion, is Reggie Bush. When the New Orleans Saints traded back into the first round to draft Mark Ingram, it became apparent that they were planning to move on from Bush. Reggie is owed about $11 million this upcoming season, so if he gets cut, his cost will still likely be somewhat high. If the Rams can get a dynamic player like Bush, they will not only have the best quarterback in the NFC West, but easily the best backfield.
Mike Sando discusses the logjam that has come to be in the wide receiver corps of the St. Louis Rams. With the addition of Austin Pettis and Greg Salas in this year’s draft, they would likely have ten receivers on their roster if they did not cut anyone. Obviously this is way too many receivers for a 53-man roster, so players will have to work hard to earn a slot on what is likely to be a 6-7 wide receiver roster. Sando speculates that players such as Brandon Gibson, Danario Alexander, Laurent Robinson, Mardy Gilyard and Dominique Curry could be the ones fighting for what could be two spots. Sando also suggests that it is their work on special teams that will earn them the slot that they covet. Personally, I believe guys like Alexander have a lot of talent, so to see them leave the Rams would not be saddening in the least.