NFC West Notes: 49ers, Lynch, Cards, Mathis

49ers linebacker Aaron Lynch unsuccessfully attempted to appeal his four-game substance abuse policy, as he explained to reporters, including Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle (Twitter link). Lynch entered stage one of the NFL’s drug program via positive tests in college, and he maintains he failed his most recent test due to a “unreliable specimen” caused from drinking too much water, tweets Cam Inman of the Bay Area News Group. While he’ll be allowed to attend training camp, play in the preseason, and attend regular season team meetings, Lynch won’t be able to practice once the regular season begins, writes Matt Maiocco of

Let’s take a look at more from the NFC West:

  • If he’s able to win another Super Bowl with the Cardinals in 2016, Evan Mathis says he’ll retire immediately, according to Mike Jurecki of FOX Sports 910 (Twitter link). “Absolutely,” said Mathis, when asked if he’ll hang up his cleats. “Not even thinking twice.” Mathis, 34, won a title during his first (and only) season with the Broncos, and proceeded to join Arizona on a one-year, $4MM deal. The veteran guard can earn another $2MM via incentives.
  • The Cardinals could conceivably keep a third quarterback on the active roster, but that No. 3 QB will have to compete with a fourth tight end, fourth running back, or sixth wide receiver, head coach Bruce Arians told reporters, including Josh Weinfuss of Arizona’s third signal-caller battle will come down to Matt Barkely and 2016 undrafted free agent Jake Coker, each of whom will compete to work behind Carson Palmer and Drew Stanton.
  • Trent Baalke knew Tom Gamble‘s promotion to assistant general manager would invite more scrutiny as to who holds the power in the 49ers‘ front office, as Branch writes in a full piece. Gamble spent two seasons with Chip Kelly in Philadelphia in between two stints in San Francisco, so Gamble acquiring a stronger voice could make it appear as though Kelly is usurping control. “I don’t live in a cave,” Baalke said. “I think I understood exactly what was going to happen. And that should show you even more that I don’t care. In all honesty, (Gamble is) deserving of the position.”
  • Meanwhile, Baalke says the 49ers will carry over the nearly $50MM in cap space that they currently possess, and could use it on extensions for players like Eric Reid, Carlos Hyde, Jimmie Ward, and others. Maiocco has the details and Baalke’s full statements in a separate piece.
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