At the age of 32, Patrick Willis is in great shape and looks like he could still play football. Is the former 49ers linebacker thinking about making a comeback?
“That inclination (to play) only comes for a split second,” he said (via Daniel Brown of the Bay Area News Group). “And then it’s, ‘Nope, nope, I’m cool.”’
Prior to his injury-shortened 2014 season, Willis made the Pro Bowl in seven consecutive seasons. As great as he was, he’s happy in retirement and unwilling to jeopardize his health by playing football.
Here’s more from the NFC West:
- In a vacuum, Rams cornerback Trumaine Johnson isn’t necessarily worth the franchise tag, but the team can’t afford to lose him either, Alden Gonzalez of ESPN.com writes. After tagging Johnson last year, a repeat tag would cost L.A. roughly $16.75MM. That’s a hefty price to pay, but the Rams don’t have any other standout outside corners and they can’t afford to lose him. Within the article, Gonzalez also raises an interesting idea: the Rams could instead use the franchise tag on strong safety T.J. McDonald, which would cost nearly $11.7MM. Though, as the ESPN scribe notes, that would be quite a surprise. On Wednesday, I examined Johnson and other star players that could be candidates for the franchise tag this offseason.
- Although they’ve primarily run a 3-4 front in years past, the 49ers are expected to deploy a 4-3 scheme under new defensive coordinator Robert Saleh, reports Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Given that Saleh had worked under Gus Bradley for the past six seasons, it’s unsurprising that he wants to use a 4-3 look, but the shift could potentially affect what players San Francisco targets in free agency and the draft. The 49ers’ personnel searches have been geared towards a 3-4 scheme for more than a decade.
- This week, the Cardinals once again made it clear they will not allow Chandler Jones to get near free agency.
Dallas Robinson contributed to this post.