NFC Notes: 49ers, Armstead, Briggs, Saints

Here’s a look at the latest regarding a pair of NFC teams:

  • The 49ers are hoping their roster is so deep that first-round defensive end Arik Armstead doesn’t start contributing on the field until 2016, according to of Paul Gutierrez Armstead might have to make his mark this year, though, as the 49ers’ defensive line took a big hit with the recent retirement of Justin Smith. Veteran Darnell Dockett is expected to be San Francisco’s No. 1 right end, which could leave the left side open for Armstead, Gutierrez notes.
  • Smith’s retirement freed up cap room for the 49ers, but Gutierrez doesn’t necessarily think they’ll use it this year. The team could sign free agent linebacker Lance Briggs, whom it has expressed interest in, but Gutierrez doesn’t expect it to happen unless Briggs comes cheap. Moreover, the Niners have 13 players entering contract years – Aldon Smith, Alex Boone, Anquan Boldin, and Vernon Davis among them – so they have to watch out for the long term.
  • Quarterback Ryan Griffin‘s roster spot with the Saints is in jeopardy after they used a third-round pick on Garrett Grayson. Nonetheless, Mike Triplett of believes Griffin still has a chance to beat out Luke McCown as one of the team’s top three QBs. The winner of the Griffin-McCown battle will likely be the No. 2 behind Drew Brees, leaving Grayson to develop as a No. 3, while the Saints are expected to be cut the loser.
  • Free agent wide receiver Kris Durham told Sirius XM NFL Radio that he worked out for the Saints, writes Josh Alper of Pro Football Talk. It was reported earlier this week that Durham worked out for the Cowboys. The four-year veteran has played for the Seahawks, Lions, and Titans during his career, hauling in 55 passes and three touchdowns.
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