NFC Notes: Zimmer, Newton, Kaepernick

A report yesterday quoted Vikings coach Mike Zimmer as saying that he almost didn’t show up for his second interview for the job. Today he clarified that story for reporters, including Michael Rand of the Star Tribune. The coach didn’t consider bailing on the Vikings interview because he wasn’t enthused for┬áthe position; he says he was just disappointed about┬ánot getting the Titans’ gig and didn’t think he had a great chance anywhere else. Here’s more out of the NFC..

  • A lot of people are surprised by Colin Kaepernick‘s hefty new contract, but Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk argues that salary cap spikes could drive the quarterback market even higher. Because of that, he says that the Panthers need to move quickly on a new deal for QB Cam Newton. Soon, he says, the high-water mark for an elite QB will be $25MM per year and, eventually, $30MM per season. With another strong year or two, Newton could push the ceiling sky-high.
  • The 49ers spent 15 hours straight negotiating with Kaepernick’s representatives, tweets Jason La Canfora of The 49ers knew that the QB would play out his rookie deal rather than accepting anything with an average annual value under $20MM.
  • The Falcons are counting on free agent pickup Dwight Lowery to fill their free safety hole, writes Michael Cunningham of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. After starting eight of 27 games for the Jets in 2009 and 2010, Lowery was a full-time starter for the Jaguars over the past three seasons. However, his season ended after just three games in 2013 after he suffered a bad concussion and went on injured reserve.
  • There might not be an opportunity at present, but after signing a three-year extension with the Eagles yesterday, guard Allen Barbre says he would like to start, writes Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer. Of course, the Eagles value his versatility off the bench as he has filled in admirably at both guard and tackle.
  • Brian McNally of The Washington Times wonders if Redskins linebacker Keenan Robinson can fill the void left by the retirement of London Fletcher.
  • The Cardinals signed undrafted rookie free agent running back Damien Thigpen, according to Darren Urban of To make room, the Cards dropped wide receiver Kevin Smith. Thigpen was in rookie minicamp a couple of weeks ago with Arizona and apparently made quite an ipression. The 5’8″, 180 pound tailback tore his ACL late in his junior year and also missed part of his senior season.
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