QB Colin Kaepernick, here against the Seahawks in the NFC title game, signed a multi-year extension with the 49ers
Most is quiet on the NFL front, as the players and coaches are away for their last bit of free time. Here is a look back at recent offseason developments around the NFC West in advance of training camp later this month:
SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS
What's new: Quarterback Colin Kaepernick signed a six-year, $126 million extension with the team in early June, including $13 million guaranteed. Tight end Vernon Davis wants a new deal as well, and held out of minicamp to express disapproval.
What it means: Kaepernick has helped the 49ers get to the Super Bowl and the NFC championship game in his two seasons as the starter, and the organization rewarded him with the extension. While the total salary is comparable to the NFL's top signal-callers, there is little guaranteed money in the deal, so the 49ers have a way out if Kaepernick doesn't develop over the next few years. His raise of nearly $12 million puts a significant dent in the salary cap, which may force the team to lose some of its better free agents next offseason. Davis has two years left on his contract but wants it redone as he continues to play like one of the NFL's top tight ends.
What's new: Workhorse running back Marshawn Lynch would also like a new contract, and while he reported to mandatory minicamp, he sat out the practices with an ankle injury. Meanwhile, second-year running back Christine Michael has impressed the coaching staff.
What it means: Offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell said the team would use more of a running-back-by-committee approach in 2014, but later clarified that he meant only in the offseason. So while there was a hint of tension, it seems likely Lynch will again be the featured running back in 2014. The 28-year-old wants an extension, but with two years remaining on his deal, Seattle seems unlikely to tack on more years.
ST. LOUIS RAMS
What's new: Quarterback Sam Bradford participated in 11-on-11 drills at the end of OTAs after missing the final nine games of the 2013 season with a torn ACL.
What it means: This is a huge year for Bradford, the No. 1 overall choice in 2010 who hasn't lived up to that billing. The Rams went 7-9 last season but have impressive talent on the defensive and offensive lines. If St. Louis can get an uptick in quarterback play, it could become a serious threat to the other NFC West teams. Bradford is optimistic about his recovery. "A big part of it for me was physically getting back out on the field and seeing how my knee reacted," Bradford told StLouisRams.com. "It's been fantastic. We were able to do a little more than we anticipated, so that's very positive. To get out there was probably the best (the knee) has felt."