NFC Links: Saints, Washington, 49ers, Eagles, Lions

Here are some notes from the NFC just before Week 2 of the preseason continues.

  • Before Washington agreed to a trade for 49ers tight end Derek Carrier, the Saints and Bears were interested in doing the same, reports Ian Rapoport of The Saints, in particular, now have a need at tight end, with 34-year-old Ben Watson possibly serving as their starter while the player previously thought to be ready to replace Jimmy Graham, Josh Hill, having an uneventful camp, per Katherine Terrell of
  • Despite Nick Toon‘s struggles in training camp, the fourth-year receiver with just 21 career catches should make the 53-man roster, Terrell opines. She views R.J. Harris as a developmental player New Orleans hopes to have on its practice squad.
  • The Saints scribe, however, doesn’t view Anthony Spencer as a lock to make the roster with his health again serving as a deterrent. The veteran edge presence carries a $230K dead-money charge.
  • Carrier’s arrival represents one of the reasons Chris Cooley‘s last-ditch attempt to return to Washington is over, writes JP Finlay of Aside from the fact Washington GM Scot McCloughan said Cooley would not be re-signed, the veteran’s inability to play special teams would get in the way of a potential return.
  • In what’s become a rebuilding look in San Francisco, the 49ers are building toward the future with their two summer trades, writes Matt Maiocco of A source told Maiocco they insisted on acquiring 2017 draft choices in trades of Andy Lee to Cleveland and Carrier to Washington and now have nine picks in that draft. Maiocco also posits the team could trade a defensive lineman for a pick before roster cutdown day. With three compensatory picks projected, the 49ers have 12 selections in next year’s draft, along with two fifth- and seventh-round selections in 2017.
  • Safety Earl Wolff‘s waived/injured distinction will likely play out with the third-year performer receiving an injury settlement rather than going through to the Eagles‘ injured reserve, offers Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer (on Twitter).
  • Zach Zenner is pushing George Winn for the Lions‘ fourth tailback job behind Joique Bell, Ameer Abdullah and Theo Riddick, writes Kyle Meinke of Winn’s special teams value could still win out after Pro Football Focus ranked him as Detroit’s third-best special-teamer last year, but Zenner has shown more upside as a runner, per Meinke.
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