NFC Notes: A. Smith, Rams, Falcons, Panthers

Matt Barrows of The Sacramento Bee has had a look at how Aldon Smith‘s release will impact the 49ers as a whole and a few individual players moving forward. For instance, Barrows writes that the team had been working with $10MM of cap space which, if unused, would roll over to 2016 and would be put toward a player. That player, of course, was Smith. Now, the team will need to decide what to do with its surplus cash. The team could bring in free agent guard Evan Mathis, and players like Vernon Davis, Ian Williams, and Quinton Dial might also be in line to get some of that money.

Barrows also details the emotional and strategic fallout of Smith’s release, and he writes that Corey Lemonier, who looked destined to be cut just a couple of days ago, may be able to hold on to his roster spot.

Now let’s take a look at a few more links from around the league:

  • Paul Domowitch of The Philadelphia Inquirer tweets that Rams head coach Jeff Fisher took the St. Louis head coaching job because of Sam Bradford, but he traded Bradford because he could not afford to gamble that Bradford would not suffer a third ACL tear.
  • Within an article touching on Julio Jones, Vaughn McClure of reports that Falcons president Rich McKay will meet with commissioner Roger Goodell and executive vice president Troy Vincent to discuss McKay’s reinstatement to the NFL’s competition committee. McKay, Atlanta’s GM from 2003-08, was suspended from the committee as a result of the Falcons pumping in crowd noise during home games the past two seasons.
  • In his latest mailbag at, David Newton writes that despite Michael Oher‘s slow start in camp, the Panthers are in a much better place at left tackle than they were a year ago. Head coach Ron Rivera has spoken in defense of Oher, and Carolina is content with Nate Chandler and Amini Silatolu as Oher’s backups.
  • While the Panthers‘ front seven has been widely lauded, the clubs’ secondary has remained largely anonymous, even being labeled the “Legion of Whom” by broadcaster Jon Gruden. But as Joe Person of the Charlotte Observer notes, Carolina’s defensive backfield could start to generate some headlines this year, as young corners Bene Benwikere, Tre Boston, and Josh Norman will be joined by veterans Charles Tillman, Kurt Coleman, and Roman Harper.

Dallas Robinson contributed to this post.

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