NFC West Notes: Seahawks, Higbee, 49ers

The Seahawks are conducting a thorough search for interior offensive line help. This has included three visits with veterans thus far. Following the news of Greg Van Roten and Lucas Patrick‘s visits, Ike Boettger has spoken with the team. Boettger, 29, made a trip to Seattle on Monday, according to’s Adam Schefter. The former Bills starter spent last season with the Colts. The Seahawks let Damien Lewis walk in free agency and have not re-signed 2023 starter Phil Haynes. As the team transitions to Ryan Grubb as its play-caller, it appears clear a veteran free agent will be part of the equation at guard.

Considering how Boettger’s career has gone since a December 2021 Achilles tear, he would qualify as a depth-level addition. Boettger, who started 17 Bills games at guard from 2020-21, was not activated off Buffalo’s PUP list until mid-December of 2022. He only played in one game that season and was active for just two Colts contests last year.

Here is the latest from the NFC West:

  • Tyler Higbee is expected to begin training camp on the Rams‘ active/PUP list, Sean McVay said recently. Considering the timing of Higbee’s ACL tear (Los Angeles’ wild-card loss), it would not surprise to see the veteran tight end transferred to the reserve/PUP list to start the season. Higbee, 31, is going into his ninth season with the Rams. The longtime starter is on his third contract (two years, $17MM); that deal runs through 2025. If Higbee is shifted to the reserve/PUP list, he would miss the Rams’ first four games. The team added ex-Seahawk Colby Parkinson in free agency; Parkinson spent the past three seasons playing in ex-McVay staffer Shane Waldron‘s offense, making for a smooth transition.
  • The 49ers have received better injury news regarding their top tight end. George Kittle underwent core muscle surgery recently, but John Lynch said (via NBC Sports Bay Area’s Matt Maiocco) the All-Pro is not in danger of missing training camp time. Ditto Charvarius Ward, who also underwent core surgery early this offseason. Ward is going into a contract year, while Kittle still has two years remaining on the $15MM-per-year extension he signed in 2020. Both were All-Pros last season.
  • The Rams dived into the guard market’s deep waters this year, re-signing Kevin Dotson and adding Jonah Jackson. They also added Parkinson and brought back Darious Williams. These deals, as The Athletic’s Jourdan Rodrigue points out, largely overlap with the rookie contracts of Puka Nacua, Kyren Williams and Kobie Turner. Players are also more interested in shorter-term deals now, as the cap spikes at record-setting levels. “I think you’ve seen that trend in the league, players want shorter deals,” Rams VP of football ops Tony Pastoors said. “It allows them to get back to free agency. As the cap continues to grow, they’re not stuck in a deal they are unhappy with because the numbers are antiquated. … I think the other part of it is probably just the evolution of Sean and Les (Snead), and wanting to be able to make moves and make adjustments and not have huge ramifications.”
  • Not long after the Steelers added Cordarrelle Patterson with an eye on the NFL’s radical kickoff change, the Seahawks have the same plan in mind for recent pickup Laviska Shenault. GM John Schneider said (via the Seattle Times’ Bob Condotta) the team signed the former second-round pick to be a return-game weapon. The 220-pound wideout, who will also serve as a Seattle backup receiver, only returned nine kickoffs while on his rookie contract. Each came with the Panthers over the past two seasons. But he showed some big-play ability in Carolina and Jacksonville. As the kickoff receives a revival (on a trial basis), the Seahawks had a target in mind to take advantage.
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