NFC Notes: Coughlin, Peppers, 49ers, Cooper

When Tom Coughlin‘s departure as Giants head coach was announced in January, it was classified as a resignation. At the time though, it was considered more of a firing, with most observers believing that the team would have made a change if Coughlin had been unwilling to step down. The veteran head coach insinuated as much during an appearance on the Jay Mohr Show on FOX Sports Radio, per John Healy of the New York Daily News.

“Hey, do I agree with the move? Of course not,” Coughlin said. “It hurts. It hurts. ‘Former’ is not a good word. I don’t like the word but that’s the way it is.”

As Coughlin continues to consider his next career move, whether that involves joining the Giants’ front office, waiting on another head coaching job, or simply retiring, let’s check out a few more odds and ends from around the NFC…

  • Julius Peppers acknowledges that within “the next four years, somewhere in there,” he’ll be calling it a career, but that won’t happen this offseason, as Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press details. The veteran edge defender plans to play for the Packers in 2016, and based on a February report, it sounds like the club will welcome him back for the final year of his contract.
  • In Jerry Jones‘ ideal world, the Cowboys would have the same sort of handoff from Tony Romo to their next QB that the Packers did they had Aaron Rodgers ready to replace Brett Favre. Todd Archer of has the details and the quotes from the Cowboys’ owner.
  • Bill Williamson of FanRag Sports (Twitter link) is hearing that the 49ers won’t be shy about spending money during the free agent period next week. Williamson identifies cornerback Sean Smith, running back Doug Martin, and offensive lineman Kelechi Osemele as possible targets for San Francisco.
  • The 49ers reworked tackle Joe Staley‘s contract today, converting $4MM into a signing bonus, per ESPN’s Dianna Marie Russini (via Twitter). However, the move was procedural and won’t change the club’s cash or cap outlook for 2016, a source tells Matt Maiocco of (Twitter link). Jason Fitzgerald of Over The Cap examined Staley’s unusual bonus situation last April, and that explanation looks relevant once again.
  • The Cardinals are considering moving Jonathan Cooper to center, Mike Jurecki of Fox Sports 910 reports (on Twitter). Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic and’s Ian Rapoport confirm Arizona’s plans for their thus-far-disappointing lineman here (Twitter links). Cooper’s made just 11 regular-season starts at guard since being drafted by the Cardinals at No. 7 overall in 2013. A knee injury shelved Cooper last season after he made nine starts, and Ted Larsen supplanted him in the Cardinals’ lineup. Larsen is a free agent, as is Lyle Sendlein, who’s started 124 games at center for Arizona since 2007.

Sam Robinson contributed to this report

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