Posted: 11:00 a.m. Sunday, March 10, 2013
By David Fucillo
NFL free agency negotiations are 36 hours in, and things have been relatively quiet thus far. While we do not have any reports of impending deals, there have still been rumors and news worth sharing from around the NFC West. The division is on the rise, battling the NFC North for best division in the NFL. This offseason will be key for the entire division taking a step forward.
According to a good source, the Cardinals will aggressively pursue a safety in free agency.— Daniel Jeremiah (@MoveTheSticks) March 9, 2013
The Cardinals parted ways with Adrian Wilson, and are looking for some long term stability at safety. Ed Reed and Charles Woodson are short term options if the Cardinals elect to look in the draft, but Dashon Goldson would be a guy they could pursue to help complete the back-end of what has turned into a very solid defense. The Cardinals have a little over $10 million in cap space, so the space is there to make a deal happen. There has been nothing connecting Goldson with the Cardinals, so we'll see if they contact him.
Toler is viewed by some as the most important free agent for the Cardinals to re-sign. He was not a starter last year, but could very well move into that role in 2013. The Cardinals need to figure out if it is worth paying a bit of a premium to get him back, but that will depend in part on how they feel he can fit into a potential starting role.
The Rams big news is that Steven Jackson is likely out the door and Danny Amendola is expected to garner a fair amount of interest. Jackson voided the final year of his contract and has indicated he is not ready to step into a backup or committee role. There are some options for Jackson, with some folks mentioning the Packers as a possible destination. The Packers have been looking for a consistent lead running back for a while, and Jackson would be able to give them that for at least a year or two.
Amendola remains a question mark in my mind on the free agent market. He is an incredibly talented wide receiver, but he is also injury prone. He will be looking for more than an incentive-laden contract, but how do you appraise the value of a player like Amendola? I have seen some comments here suggesting the 49ers should make a play at him, but I don't see the 49ers doing that for anything but a very team-friendly deal. This is a team that has maintained their health for some time now. Do they really roll the dice on an injury prone receiver like Amendola?
The Seahawks biggest free agent is Alan Branch, who appears to be getting a fair amount of interest from around the league. The Seahawks are in a position where Branch is not a guy they would likely spend a ton on, in part because they will have plenty of other decisions in the near future with their young talent.
The big question for now remains what to do with Matt Flynn. They could hang on to him in the short term, but at some point it makes sense to deal him for some assets. There remains a market for Flynn, but the Seahawks do not seem to be in a rush to make anything happen. It makes sense to work the long con and convince somebody a guy who lost his job before he could even gain it is worth anything. Leave it to a team like the Jets to get sucked into that one!
It's not exactly a crazy time for the NFC West, but there is some news to be had. The Seahawks and 49ers could be two teams that are relatively quiet early in free agency, while the Rams and Cardinals would seem more inclined to make some noise with the first wave of signings. We'll see what happens when Tuesday gets here.