NFC West Notes: Rams, Jones, 49ers, LeBron

Marvin Jones exited his ninth NFL season without a playoff win, and the former Bengals and Lions wideout is looking for a championship contender to become his third team. His most recent quarterback is already pitching him on a trip to Los Angeles. Matthew Stafford called Jones about teaming up with the Rams, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald notes. The soon-to-be 31-year-old receiver, however, is believed to have interest in joining the Dolphins and Jaguars. Jones played out a five-year contract with the Lions, with Stafford being his primary QB. The Rams are not exactly in position to be chasing higher-end free agents, being more than $30MM over the cap as of Friday. And the team has Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp signed long-term, with Van Jefferson under team control through 2023. But the Stafford move shows the Rams are making a big push. Through that lens, Jones would make sense as an auxiliary option.

Here is the latest from the NFC West:

  • The 49ers are facing a tough situation with Dee Ford, who is battling a back injury that sidelined him for 15 games last season. If the former Pro Bowl pass rusher is not healthy by April 1, his $11.6MM injury guarantee becomes fully guaranteed. With John Lynch indicating recently Ford may not be ready by the 2021 season, per Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area, it appears safe to assume the 49ers will eat that cap charge. This is a somewhat similar situation to Ford’s 2018 offseason, when the Chiefs were forced to pick up Ford’s fifth-year option because he was unable to pass a physical. The 49ers restructured Ford’s contract last year, ballooning his 2021 cap number to $20.1MM — second on the team. The most San Francisco could save with a Ford cut would be $3.7MM, in a post-June 1 transaction.
  • A more proven pass rusher does not have to worry about any release. Asked about an NFL.com list of prospective cap casualties that included Chandler Jones, Cardinals GM Steve Keim rejected the notion that is on the table during an appearance on Arizona Sports 98.7 FM (via the Arizona Republic). Jones is due to count $20.8MM against Arizona’s 2021 cap. The two-time All-Pro is entering the final season of a $16.5MM-per-year deal that has fallen to 13th among edge rushers, pointing to a potential extension that would lower his cap hit.
  • A year prior to the Seahawks‘ run of playoff appearances, they reached out to a notable ex-wide receiver about potentially joining a then-Tarvaris Jackson-quarterbacked team. LeBron James confirmed that, in addition to the Cowboys contacting him about a tryout, the Seahawks did the same during the 2011 NBA lockout. Then in his second year as Seattle’s HC, Pete Carroll shipped James a custom Seahawks jersey along with the workout invite. “I would have tried out, but I would have made the team,” James said, via The Athletic’s Christopher Kamrani and Bill Oram (subscription required). “I don’t mind working for something, so if I would have had to try out for the Cowboys or the Seahawks, or if I’d have stayed home and went back home to Cleveland, I’d have tried (out), but I would have made the team.” Some close to James, 26 during the lockout, convinced him not to go through with NFL workouts. The NBA legend received significant recruiting interest as a wideout at St. Vincent-St. Mary High in Akron but quit the sport ahead of his senior year.
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10 comments on “NFC West Notes: Rams, Jones, 49ers, LeBron

  1. Chief Two Hands

    As long as the Rams don’t trade Kupp I will be happy. That guy is a huge asset in many ways. Freak injury aside, he has been an underrated asset for years. I expect him to gel with any QB. That said, an earlier report saying players are contacting Stafford regarding potentially joining him with the Rams is a good sign. If accurate, those reports show a respect for his talent among his NFL peers, and a desire to play with him on a solid team. I like the idea of bringing in guys Stafford is familiar with, but I think the Rams will be fine if they can’t due to financial concerns. I think Stafford will fit in well with the Rams.

  2. nentwigs

    No worries with the loss of Dee Ford,
    the 49ers will just turn to
    DEE CHEVROLET !!

  3. paulk-2

    The Rams are 25 million over the cap. They have to find a way to clear that to be even, find another 4.6 million for rookies and then free up even more for free agents. I don’t think they have any wiggle room for any free agents. They have repeatedly put themselves in a bad situation and they are going to have to continually hit home runs in the draft to make it work.

    Side note: Any tinkering they do to current contracts will probably cause the same problems in the next few years. Should be interesting in the next few weeks.

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