Vince Oghobaase

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.

NFC Notes: Giants, Vikes, Bucs, Bears, 49ers

The Giants are trying to bring back every key member of their excellent defense, and while that would include retaining Johnathan Hankins, re-signing the 325-pound defensive tackle is easier said than done, as Jordan Raanan of ESPN.com writes. Hankins managed three sacks and 10 quarterback hits from the defensive interior, and given that he’s still only 24 years old, Hankins figures to break the bank in free agency. After speaking to a panel that includes executives and agents, Raanan pegs Hankins’ value at five years, $43MM, with $18MM in guarantees.

Here’s more from the NFC:

  • The Vikings made a “strong push” for free agent cornerback K’Waun Williams, according to Ben Goessling of ESPN.com, but ultimately lost out to the 49ers. Williams, 25, didn’t play in 2016 while dealing with an ankle injury, but would have given Minnesota another slot option given that Captain Munnerlyn is a free agent. Per Goessling, Williams’ relationship with San Francisco head coach Kyle Shanahan and defensive backs coach Jeff Hafley heavily factored into his decision to head to the Bay Area.
  • Pending free agent quarterback Mike Glennon has left his representation at Vanguard Sports and Athletes First, but he’s expected to re-sign with Athletes First agent David Dunn, tweets Liz Mullen of SportsBusiness Journal. Glennon, 27, hasn’t played regularly for the Buccaneers since his rookie season in 2013, but if Kirk Cousins sees the franchise tag as expected, Glennon will be the top quarterback on the market.
  • Offensive lineman Eric Kush‘s new two-year deal with the Bears is worth $2.5MM and contains $500K in full guarantees, per Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (Twitter link). Kush, 27, started four games and played 279 offensive snaps on an injury-filled Chicago front five last year, but he’s projected to serve as depth in 2017.
  • The 49ers announced that they’ve hired Stan Kwan (assistant special teams), Vince Oghobaase (asssistant defensive line), and Adam Stenavich (assistant offensive line). While Oghobaase is a holdover from the Chip Kelly regime, Kwan and Stenavich are new additions. Kwan was relieved of his duties as a Saints assistant earlier this year after spending four years in New Orleans.