NFC Notes: Cards, Washington, Bears

While John Carlson‘s retirement announcement today came as a surprise to many observers, the Cardinals‘ football people weren’t shocked by the news, per Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic (Twitter links). However, Somers notes that the team wasn’t aware of Carlson’s plan prior to the draft, so it’s fair to wonder if Arizona might’ve taken a tight end a little earlier — the team selected Louisville’s Gerald Christian with the 256th and final pick in this year’s draft, making him 2015’s “Mr. Irrelevant.”

Here’s more from around the NFC:

  • After selecting running back Matt Jones in the draft last week, Washington is no longer in the market for veteran free agent Pierre Thomas, tweets’s John Keim.
  • Following the 2015 draft, the Bears’ front office is undergoing some major changes under new general manager Ryan Pace. As Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune details, college scouting director Marty Barrett won’t have his contract renewed after 18 years with the franchise. Meanwhile, Adam Caplan of tweets that Jay Muraco is out as Chicago’s East Coast scout, confirming a report from Neil Stratton of InsideTheLeague (Twitter link). A source tells Alex Marvez of Fox Sports (Twitter link) that Barrett figures to land with the Jets, while Caplan tweets that Muraco may resurface with the Falcons.
  • Speaking to Jeff Dickerson of, Pace explained why the Bears decided not to use one of their six picks on a quarterback during the draft.
  • Jason Fitzgerald of Over The Cap takes a closer look at the specific numbers in Jameis Winston‘s rookie contract with the Buccaneers, and how they reflect the changes in the overall rookie salary pool. So far, Winston is the only rookie reported to have officially signed his contract.
  • Panthers special teams coordinator Bruce DeHaven is taking a medical leave of absence to deal with a “serious health situation,” and will be replaced in the interim by Russ Purnell, writes Joseph Person of the Charlotte Observer.
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