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Around The NFC West - Free Agency Update

A look at the movement within the division after a month of free agency

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The Seahawks lost several key contributors in free agency, including outside linebacker Bruce Irvin.


While free agency will extend throughout the offseason, activity has decreased to a trickle after the flurry of moves in early March. The teams in the NFC West may make a few more signings, but the heavy lifting has been done. With that in mind, here is a look at how things shook out for each team as they now put their focus on the draft.

SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS

Re-signed: NT Ian Williams; K Phil Dawson; LB Michael Wilhoite; DT Tony Jerod-Eddie

Signed in free agency: G Zane Beadles; QB Thad Lewis

Lost in free agency/released: G Alex Boone; TE Brian Leonhardt

Analysis: The 49ers went into free agency with a ton of cap room but used little of it. Guard Zane Beadles was the biggest outside free agent addition, but considering San Francisco lost Alex Boone, it was a lateral move at best. The 49ers' most impactful re-signing was when they inked nose tackle Ian Williams to a new contract, although a five-year deal was reworked into a one-year pact after ankle concerns popped up. The 49ers are clearly in rebuild mode, and General Manager Trent Baalke is trying to build up his team again through the draft instead of free agency. It's the prudent move, but the lack of any big-name additions means the 49ers will likely be among the NFL's worst teams again in 2016. The biggest remaining question this offseason will be the future of quarterback Colin Kaepernick and if he stays with the 49ers or gets traded.

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS

Re-signed: CB Jeremy Lane; WR Jermaine Kearse; P Jon Ryan; LB Michael Morgan; RB Christine Michael

Signed in free agency: T J'Marcus Webb; T Bradley Sowell; DE Christopher Clemons; DT Sealver Siliga

Lost in free agency/released: T Russell Okung; LB Bruce Irvin; G J.R. Sweezy; DT Brandon Mebane; G Alvin Bailey

Analysis: The secondary is intact with the re-signing of Jeremy Lane, but free agency took away some proven contributors from Seattle. The departures of Russell Okung and J.R. Sweezy leaves an already-maligned offensive line in worse shape, and keeping quarterback Russell Wilson protected will certainly be the big topic as the season draws near. Bruce Irvin is a versatile defensive player and will be missed, although the unit might be strong enough to weather his departure. Seattle didn't add any big names in free agency but can still rely on the core which has gotten it to a pair of Super Bowls in the last three years.

LOS ANGELES RAMS

Re-signed: CB Trumaine Johnson; DE Eugene Sims; C Tim Barnes; QB Case Keenum; WR Brian Quick; FB Cory Harkey; S Cody Davis; LB Quinton Coples; C Brian Folkerts

Signed in free agency: CB Coty Sensabaugh

Lost in free agency/released: CB Janoris Jenkins; S Rodney McLeod; DT Nick Fairley; DE Chris Long; TE Jared Cook; LB James Laurinaitis; LB Daren Bates.

Analysis: The Rams had a lot of decisions to make this offseason with high-profile names. They released Chris Long, Jared Cook and James Laurinaitis and watched Janoris Jenkins, Nick Fairley and Rodney McLeod sign elsewhere. The Rams put the franchise tag on cornerback Trumaine Johnson while adding Coty Sensabaugh to replace Jenkins. While there was plenty of movement, two truths likely remain as the team moves to Los Angeles: The defense should be good again because Aaron Donald and Robert Quinn can wreak havoc from the defensive line, but the offense must find competent quarterback play. Case Keenum is the presumed starting signal-caller although the Rams could look to the draft to fill the position.

ARIZONA CARDINALS

Re-signed: TE Jermaine Gresham; RB Chris Johnson; QB Drew Stanton; TE Darren Fells; P Drew Butler; DT Red Bryant

Signed in free agency: S Tyvon Branch; G Evan Mathis

Lost in free agency/release/trade: T Bobby Massie; G Ted Larsen; S Rashad Johnson; LB Sean Weatherspoon; T Bradley Sowell; G Jonathan Cooper

Acquired via trade: LB Chandler Jones

Analysis: The Cardinals were one win away from a Super Bowl appearance in 2015 and General Manager Steve Keim has added to an already-formidable roster. Pro Bowl pass-rusher Chandler Jones was the big acquisition, as Keim traded former first-round pick Jonathan Cooper and a second-rounder in this month's draft for him. Jones fills the biggest need on defense, while signing Pro Bowl guard Evan Mathis replaces Cooper on the line. Tyvon Branch has been injury-prone in his career, but when healthy can be an above average safety. Adding him to the duo of Tyrann Mathieu and Patrick Peterson gives the Cardinals one of the best secondaries in the NFL. Bobby Massie's departure puts the onus on 2015 first-round pick D.J. Humphries to move into the starting lineup at right tackle. Safety Tony Jefferson, safety D.J. Swearinger and wide receiver Jaron Brown are currently restricted free agents but seem likely to sign their tender offers with the team. Cornerback Jerraud Powers is an unrestricted free agent and hasn't signed anywhere yet.

Images of cheerleader Kaitlin from throughout the year



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