Monday, July 25, 2011

NFC West Free Agency Outlooks

The worst division in football created a playoff team without a .500 record in Seattle (7-9) that looked to be the worst playoff team ever, but they won a game! That's the beauty of football and a one-and-done playoff format. Hopefully, this division gets a little better and challenges the AFC West for the worst division in football, but free agency will help determine that.

Arizona Cardinals Top Needs: Quarterback, Quarterback, Quarterback
Top Targets: Arizona needs a quarterback. I repeat, Arizona needs a quarterback. I can not overstate that. Arizona is not a bad football team except at the quarterback position, which really brought the team down. It has been widely reported that Kevin Kolb will get traded to Arizona. Whatever Arizona gives up in that deal to get Kolb (i.e. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie), it will need to get that back via free agency. Regardless of who they give up, look for Arizona to add some offensive line to help protect the investment in Kolb.

San Francisco 49ers Top Needs: Wide Receiver, Defensive Line
Top Targets: The reason why quarterback is not on this list is because San Francisco has made it abundantly clear that Alex Smith will be its starting quarterback going forward by giving him a playbook before this 132-day lockout. One thing that makes every quarterback better are good wide receivers. Michael Crabtree has been a disappointment so far and Vernon Davis can only do so much as a tight end, so look for the niners to go after guys like Braylon Edwards, Steve Smith, or Sidney Rice to provide Smith with a big, dependable target. Also, despite drafting some pass rushers in the draft, San Francisco could use a run stuffer in the middle like Gerrard Warren.

Seattle Seahawks Top Needs: Quarterback, Defensive Line
Top Targets: Seattle is fooling itself if they believe that Tavaris Jackson can replace Matt Hasselbeck. One thing is clear, the Charlie Whitehurst trade was not a good one for Seattle. On the defensive side, stopping the run has to be priority number one, and that starts in the middle. Seattle would really make quite the splash if it lands Pat Williams, but could settle for someone of Shaun Cody's ilk.

St. Louis Rams Top Needs: Wide Receiver, Running Back
Top Targets: St. Louis was one of the most improved teams last year, but just didn't have enough to squeak into the playoffs. Outside of Steven Jackson and rookie quarterback Sam Bradford, the Rams did not have any offensive punch last season, and there are some significant free agents on the offensive side of the ball. Look for St. Louis to bring in Darren Sproles to help lift the load off of Jackson. Additionally, Donnie Avery will come back from his season ending injury last season to provide some help at the wide receiver position with Laurent Robinson, but no one really scares opposing defenses enough to stop keying in on Jackson and Bradford. Look for St. Louis to be a part of the Plaxico Burress race as well as Sidney Rice, Vincent Jackson (should he become a free agent), and Malcolm Floyd.

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