Jeff Rodgers

NFC West Notes: Seahawks, Cardinals, 49ers

Safety Earl Thomas had made waves with his perceived discontent with the Seahawks over the past month or so, and he now sounds serious about initiating a contract holdout, according to Brady Henderson of ESPN.com“I want to finish my career there,” Thomas said. “I definitely don’t see myself going out there not signed. But I’m going to continue to work my butt off and enjoy this process at the Pro Bowl. As far as my future in Seattle, I think if they want me, you know, money talks. We’ll get something accomplished. Other than that, I’m just taking it one day at a time.” Thomas, 28, is entering the final year of his current contract, and says Seattle has yet to initiate negotiation discussions. He’s currently earning $10MM annually, which ranks sixth among NFL safeties.

Here’s more from the NFC West:

  • New Cardinals head coach Steve Wilks has opted to retain incumbent quarterbacks coach Byron Leftwich, tweets Ian Rapoport of NFL.com. Former Arizona head coach Bruce Arians has been especially vocal about Leftwich’s future prospects, noting last June that the former first-round pick would become “a head coach early and fast.” Elsewhere on staff, wide receivers coach Kevin Garver and tight ends coach Steve Heiden could stay on with the Cardinals, per Kent Somers of the Arizona Republic (Twitter link), while inside linebackers coach Larry Foote will return, tweets Alex Marvez of the Sporting News. Meanwhile, the Cardinals have also announced Jeff Rodgers — who’s coached with the Bears, Broncos, and Panthers — as their new special teams coordinator.
  • While the 49ers are confident that they’ll be able to extend quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, there is a chance San Francisco will be forced to use a franchise or transition tag, leading Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk to examine the benefits and drawbacks of each tender. The transition tag is roughly $2MM cheaper than the non-exclusive franchise tag, but it also comes with the threat of another team snagging Garoppolo without the 49ers collecting draft pick compensation. However, general manager John Lynch & Co. lead the league in cap space, meaning they’d be able to match nearly any offer sheet Garoppolo receives from another club.
  • The 49ers are searching for an assistant defensive line coach to work under Jeff Zgonina, reports Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area (Twitter link). USC defensive line coach Kenechi Udeze was in the 49ers’ facility on Thursday, so there’s a possibility he was interviewing for the position, per Maiocco. Vince Oghobaase held the title of assistant OL coach in 2017, but he’s since joined the UCLA staff.

Coach Rumors: Gailey, Bills, 49ers, Cardinals

It has been presumed that the Jets would hire Chan Gailey to become the team’s offensive coordinator, but it may not be a done deal, writes Brian Costello of the New York Post. Costello writes that Gailey has drawn interest from three other teams, and that an agreement with the Jets is far from a lock.

  • As the Jets have cooled on Gailey, they have reached out to other potential candidates for their offensive coordinator opening, reports Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports (via Twitter).
  • The 49ers have denied the Bills permission to interview Ronald Curry for an opportunity to join Greg Roman’s staff in Buffalo, reports Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com (via Twitter).
  • The Bears wanted to consider Broncos wide receivers coach Tyke Tolbert for the same position on their staff, but the Broncos have denied them permission, reports Michael C. Wright of ESPN.com (via Twitter).
  • The Cardinals have expressed interest in Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Nolan to replace Todd Bowles as their own defensive coordinator, reports Josh Weinfuss of ESPN.com. Nolan’s defenses with the Falcons have been underwhelming, and his stint as 49ers head coach was equally unsuccessful.
  • With the Cardinals considering options at defensive coordinator, Jim Wyatt of the Tennesseean notes that former Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau is in the mix as a senior assistant (via Twitter). Wyatt still believes LeBeau could land with the Titans (via Twitter).
  • 49ers assistant coach Eric Mangini will interview with the Raiders in pursuit of their defensive coordinator job, reports Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (via Twitter).
  • While Mangini is moving closer to the Oakland, former Raiders defensive coordinator Jason Tarver is still expected to rejoin the 49ers, reports Eric Branch of the San Francisco Chronicle (via Twitter).
  • Former Cardinals and Chiefs defensive coordinator Clancy Pendergast interviewed to be the defensive coordinator in Washington, reports John Keim of ESPN.com.
  • The Bears have hired former Broncos assistant coach Jeff Rodgers as their special teams coordinator, reports Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times (via Twitter).