In this week's edition of the NFC West Roundup, I will be introducing you to a list of potential free agents once the new collective bargaining agreement is created. The new CBA will likely make it so that free agents with four or more years in the league would automatically become unrestricted. This would create a plethora of players that will possibly be on the move once the lockout is lifted. Also, some players are headed to the Pro Football Hall of Fame this August, including Marshall Faulk. Who could follow Faulk to Canton you ask? Hit the jump to find out. With that, here is your NFC West Roundup.
Danny Kelly at the SB Nation Seattle Seahawks blog, Field Gulls, created a list of guys he would want on the roster in Seattle. The list has been expanded to include players that would become unrestricted with the new CBA rules. Obviously, whenever your team goes 7-9, (albeit they made the playoffs) roster changes are necessary if you want to improve. Click the link to see the list of players, ranging from receivers to secondary players. The one thing I noticed is how highly regarded current and former Arizona Cardinals players are. Deuce Lutui and Alan Branch both made the list, along with former first round Cardinal draft pick, Matt Leinart. Lutui would instantly fill a need at guard on the Seahawks offensive line, while Branch would be a productive backup for their defensive line. As far as Leinart goes, he would possibly compete for a starting job given that Charlie Whitehurst is the only quarterback that is currently under contract.
A recent purchase was made in which one big company absorbed another big company. I don’t know many details, but what I do know is that Qwest (who many people are getting Internet from to read this right now) is now part of Century Link. With that change, Qwest Field, where the Seahawks play, is now becoming CenturyLink Field. Fans of the ‘Hawks have already dubbed the new stadium, "The CLink." Obviously, as Danny Kelly states, this name is far superior to Qwest field and much less nerdy (the comparisons are awesome by the way). So when the Arizona Cardinals travel up to Seattle to play their annual football game next year, they will be visiting a prison of loud noises and terror affectionately known as The CLink. At least Seattle has something to cheer about since the Cardinals will be in the throne once again this season.
Two weeks ago I mentioned how various teams have been speculated as possibly being on the move to Los Angeles. The City of Angels would make a great football city and whatever team moves there will see its fair share of sellout crowds. Matt Barrows from the Sacramento Bee suggests that the San Francisco 49ers would prefer seeing certain teams in Southern California over others. The team he states is none other than our other NFC West rival, the St. Louis Rams. Not only would this bring less travel time and truly make all of the teams now in the west, but a rivalry could be rekindled. To harp on what Barrows said, think Giants vs. Dodgers. A SoCal vs. NorCal battle of the ages between the San Francisco 49ers and the Los Angeles Rams… Now that would be fun to see.
Bill Williamson of Scouts, Inc. recently did separate pieces on each NFC West team where he broke down their wide receiver situations. All of them are posted on the ESPN NFC West blog that is run by Mike Sando, but I wanted to bring up this one specifically. The San Francisco 49ers have more questions than answers when it comes to their team (I am not saying the Cardinals don’t) and the wide receiver position is one of them. Michael Crabtree is inconsistent, Josh Morgan is not really a viable answer for a number two receiver and Ted Ginn is a good return man, but he is not much of a receiver. Click the link to see Williamson’s take on each of these guys, along with some of the players on the bubble. Kyle Williams, a former Sun Devil, is one of the guys that could find himself cut from the team if he doesn’t show up. With a new rookie in Ronald Johnson coming in and other veterans trying to gain a roster spot, it will be interesting to see how the wide receiver corps of the 49ers shakes out and how they will perform in 2011.
Another list has been made regarding free agents that would become unrestricted under new CBA rules. This time, VanRam at Turf Show Times created a list of guys the St. Louis Rams could look at when free agency starts and the new collective bargaining agreement is in tact. Some of these guys would have been free agents either way, so there is always a possibility of them no matter how the CBA turns out. When I see this list (which you can see by clicking the link), Barry Cofield is a guy that immediately sticks out. Will the Rams be willing to fork over that much dough in order to sign a premiere defensive tackle? Hopefully not because that would make up the same interior line that won the New York Giants a Super Bowl a few years back. Our offensive line is shaky as it is, St. Louis, give us a break.
On August 6th, all-time great St. Louis Rams running back, Marshall Faulk will be inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Obviously, this is the biggest honor any player in the NFL can receive, so congratulations to him. After Faulk, LaDainian Tomlinson is a clear cut Hall of Famer as well. Beyond these two, we can only speculate as to who will be the next running back to win this prestigious award. But that’s what we do, we speculate. Vinnie Iyer from AOL Sporting News has given his list as to who could become a possible candidate, with none of these backs being over the age of 28. Two of the possibilities come from the NFC West in the forms of Steven Jackson and Frank Gore. Iyer suggests that if the Rams can have more team success and if Jackson can keep up the pace, he will likely make a strong push for the Hall. As for Gore, I see him as a long shot, but if he can string together some productive seasons, then there is always the possibility he makes it as well. Here’s to hoping that in a few years we see a list like this that includes the names of Beanie Wells and Ryan Williams.