NFC West Blog
Former Bengals tight end Jermaine Gresham "is now the NFL's most sought-after available tight end" according to ESPN NFL insider Adam Schefter. He is yet to sign with a team after undergoing back surgery this offseason. There is already a contract on the table from the Saints and he's set to meet with the Cardinals this week. Gresham has a few other meetings planned over the next two weeks and is expected to sign a deal before camp opens up.
We have heard nothing but great thinks about Cardinals second-year wideout John Brown this offseason. He has added 10 pounds of muscle to bulk up and improve his conditioning. Brown is also living with quarterback Carson Palmer and the two are training together. His head coach Bruce Arians even compared him to Marvin Harrison. This trend continues as Tyrann Mathieu named him as "a young player who really stood out in the offseason program". Mathieu along with Brown were named as players "making the leap" in 2015 by NFL.com as well.
Rams first-round pick Todd Gurley is still recovering from ACL surgery. He is expected to open up training camp on the Non-Football Injury list. This was always the expectation and he can be removed from the list at any time. There is no concrete timetable for his return to the field in full pads. The earlier he returns, the more likely he is to avoid the PUP list when the regular season starts.
A recent poll of 35 coaches, personnel men and former front office executives ranked the current NFL quarterbacks. Out of the 35 polled only 11 believed that Seahawks QB Russell Wilson was a top-tier quarterback. One offensive coordinator believes "the bubble is going to burst". While another said, "Because I think he needs Marshawn Lynch and the defense to do what he has done." One head coach went as far to say, "He cannot win the whole thing. Is that why they are not paying him? I think you could make an argument to put him down as a 3, but I would say he is a 2."
Free agent tight end Chris Cooley recently announced that he is looking to return to the NFL. He's in football shape and he is interested in participating in a training camp. It didn't take long for the Cardinals to get into contact with him. Not only have the two sides spoken, according to a league source, they "have expressed interest in signing him."
The Cardinals have signed former Bengals tight end Jermaine Gresham to a one-year deal. The Saints, Packers and Bears were also reportedly interested but he'll be playing this season in the dessert. Gresham did have back surgery early in the offseason and may not be ready when training camp opens. However, he is fully expected to be ready for the start of the regular season.
Profootballtalk is reporting that "word on the NFL grapevine" is that the Seahawks have offered Russell Wilson a deal worth nearly $21 million per season with "significant guaranteed money". This is still left than Aaron Rodgers $22 million per year. Wilson reportedly wants to be made the highest-paid quarterback in the league. Despite these new reports, there is no reason to believe the two sides are any closer to reaching a new deal.
Rams first-round pick Todd Gurley "impressively" passed his conditioning test on Tuesday. He will open up training camp on the active roster. This disqualifies him from the reserve/NFI list, which would have forced him to miss the first six games of the season. This does not necessarily mean he'll be ready for Week 1 but is very encouraging nonetheless. Head coach Jeff Fisher insisted that they will not rush this process, so he must be doing very well.
In a concerning turn of events, Carlos Hyde has been placed on the active/NFI list. The injury is only believed to be minor but is still alarming. Hyde missed time during OTAs with a leg injury as well. On the active/NFI list he is eligible to return at any time. He is expected to see the vast majority of the carries in San Francisco this season and many experts are projecting him to be a breakout star this season.
Hyde is currently being drafted as the RB15, which is fair value assuming he's healthy. Somebody has to fill the 250-plus carry void left by long-time 49er Frank Gore. Hyde has a rare combination of speed and power and was considered by many to be the top back in 2014 draft. He was dominant force at Ohio State and will now get his opportunity to show what he's got as a pro. His health is something to monitor closely until it's confirmed that he's healthy.
According to the Rams official website, there is a real possibility that Gurley starts Week 1. It was announced today that he would avoid the PUP list, which means he is not expected to miss the first six games due to his recovery from ACL surgery. However, it does state that it is still far early to come to a definitive conclusion and it is "a little more probable" that Tre Mason opens the season as the starter.