Glen Coffee

NFC West Notes: Cardinals, 49ers, Rams

Cardinals running back David Johnson says that he is paying close attention to Le’Veon Bell‘s contract negotiations with hopes that he’ll get a big payday. Johnson feels that things are about to change for top running backs and believes that big money is on the way.

I feel like, especially now, with the running backs we have in this league, we’re going to definitely change the mentality of the running back and those contract deals,” Johnson told Andy Benoit of The MMQB. “We’re going to definitely make it [understood] that running backs are more important than you’d think. Everyone thinks it’s a passing league, but I think running backs are starting to show up and show out and prove that you need a good one to be a capable team.

Unfortunately for Johnson, teams are still paying close attention to the odometers on running backs and it’s hard to net a monster deal after you’ve already logged a certain number of NFL carries. There are exceptions, but the perception remains that running backs are fungible with a limited shelf life and that impacts their pay day.

Here’s more from the NFC West:

Glen Coffee Attempting NFL Comeback

Glen Coffee is looking to return to the NFL. The running back has been reinstated from retirement and is attempting a comeback, reports Ben Volin of The Boston Globe (via Twitter). Following the news, Coffee was subsequently waived by the 49ers, and barring an unexpected waiver claim, he’ll become a free agent.

Glen CoffeeThe 2009 third-round pick out of Alabama spent only one season in the NFL, serving primarily as Frank Gore‘s backup in San Francisco. In 14 games, Coffee ran for 226 yards and one touchdown on 83 attempts. The running back also hauled in 11 receptions, returned three kicks, and compiled 11 tackles.

Prior to the 2010 season, the running back curiously announced his retirement (this ultimately led to the 49ers signing veteran Brian Westbrook). Coffee intended to return to the University of Alabama to finish his degree, and he later acknowledged that he was never fully committed to the sport. The 29-year-old had been serving as a paratrooper and working for the 6th Ranger Training Battalion since 2013.

“I can tell you, he’s in great shape,” agent Ray Oubre said (via Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com). “The man doesn’t have a six-pack, he’s got a 12-pack. He’s been waiting for the right time to hopefully get a workout with someone and show what he can do.

“He had a calling, and right now he feels like it’s his time to show what he can do. He explained to me, ‘I can do things now that I couldn’t do when I was initially with the 49ers.’ That’s the kind of shape he’s in.”

It would have been a nice story for Coffee to return to the 49ers, but the team’s running back depth chart is crowded enough as is. The team is currently rostering Carlos Hyde, Tim Hightower, DuJuan Harris, Mike Davis, and Raheem Mostert.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.