There were fans in the Valley who were a little mi

first_imgThere were fans in the Valley who were a little miffed by the inactivity of the Arizona Cardinals during the first week of free agency.The Cardinals didn’t make an early impact signing — a strategy backed by the fact that Arizona went 13-3 a year ago and advanced to the NFC Championship Game. There really wasn’t a need for sweeping change.But it looks like the division’s best team has helped itself more than any other since the beginning of the league’s annual free agent period. In this space, we’ll keep you updated on everything that’s happening player personnel-wise in the Cardinals’ backyard, the NFC West. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impact Top Stories Free agents lost: T Alvin Bailey (CLE), OLB Bruce Irvin (OAK), DT Brandon Mebane (SD), T Russell Okung (DEN), P Jon Ryan, G J.R. Sweezy (TB)Retired: RB Marshawn LynchAnalysis: The Seahawks have been hit harder by players leaving than any other team in the division. Irvin was a key member of Seattle’s seemingly-endless stream of pass rushers. His exit was not unexpected after the Seahawks had to pay numerous members of their defense last season — Irvin was the odd-man out. His loss is minimized by the fact that he didn’t sign with Arizona after a reported flirtation there.The Seahawks did bring back Christine Michael, who played well late in 2015. The running back had 102 yards in a Week 17 win over the Cardinals, then ran for 70 yards on 21 carries during Seattle’s road playoff win at Minnesota.Seattle made a couple of solid moves in bringing back Rubin, who started all 16 games last year and Kearse, who has developed into a reliable receiver opposite of Doug Baldwin. Kearse had a career-high 49 catches and five touchdowns last year. He received an affordable three-year, $13.5 million contract with $6.3 million guaranteed. Los Angeles RamsSigned from other teams: DE Quinton Coples (MIA), CB Coty Sensabaugh (TEN)Own free agents signed: C Tim Barnes, S Mark Barron, DB Cody Davis, DE William Hayes, CB Trumaine Johnson (franchise tag), QB Case Keenum, WR Brian Quick, DE Eugene SimsFree agents lost: LB Darren Bates (OAK), TE Jared Cook (cut, GB), DT Nick Fairley (NO), LB James Laurinaitis (cut, NO), DE Chris Long (cut, NE), CB Janoris Jenkins (NYG), S Rodney McLeod (PHI)Analysis: The Jenkins exodus hurts, but the Rams couldn’t afford to keep both of their cornerbacks. Johnson simply had a better 2015, ranking second in the league with seven interceptions. Jenkins cashed in on his deal with the free-spending Giants, getting $62.5 million ($28.8 million guaranteed). It was enough money to make him vow to “stop being lazy at the end of games” in his first session with the New York media. Something tells me they’ll remember that. Keenum was a restricted free agent and started five games for the Rams in 2015, going 3-2 in that stretch. Head coach Jeff Fisher believes his team can win with Keenum at quarterback but admitted the four-year pro out of Houston will compete with Nick Foles for the starting job next season.Sensabaugh wasn’t a sexy signing, but the former Titan should start opposite of Johnson at corner for the Rams, who also did well to lock up another defensive starters in defensive end William Hayes (5.5 sacks in ’15).The Rams are taking a chance with Coples — who was cut by the Jets last November and was picked up by Miami for the stretch run of the season. The 2012 first-round draft pick played in 16 games between the two teams last season, yet had only eight total tackles and no sacks. Coples has 16.5 sacks in his career.Two big parts of the defense — Laurinaitis and Fairley — both hooked on with the Saints. Laurinaitis averaged 121 tackles per season in his seven years with the Rams, while Fairley provided depth on the defensive line after signing a one-year contract last March. Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Losing Rashad Johnson may have effects on the Arizona secondary. Johnson was a steady veteran presence known as the quarterback of the defense during the last few seasons. He also had a nose for the ball. His 12 interceptions since the beginning of the 2013 season were the third-most in football during that span. Massie was expected to move on, and the Cardinals prepared for that by drafting right tackle D.J. Humphries in the first round in 2015 and stashing him on the inactive list all season long. Massie got $18 million over three years from the Bears with $6.5 million guaranteed.center_img The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Comments   Share   San Francisco 49ersSigned from other teams: G Zane Beadles, (JAX), QB Thaddeus Lewis (PHI) Own free agents signed: LB Ray-Ray Armstrong, TE Garrett Celek, K Phil Dawson, DT Ian WilliamsFree agents lost: G Alex Boone (MIN)Analysis: Hello? Is Trent Baalke on vacation? The 49ers, who won just five games last season, have been the very definition of inactive during the offseason. That’s surprising, since new head coach Chip Kelly notoriously revamped (or more to the point, destroyed) the Eagles’ roster in his one-year reign as head coach/personnel man in Philadelphia.The 49ers were able to lure guard Zane Beadles to San Francisco with a three-year, $11.75 million deal after he was cut by the Jaguars. Beadles is durable and will take the guard spot opened up by Boone’s exodus to Minnesota.The team’s best move so far was bringing back nose tackle Ian Williams, who started all 16 games last season and had 65 total tackles. Pro Football Focus rated Williams as the fourth-best run stopper at his position in 2015, behind only Aaron Donald of the Rams, Miami’s Ndamukong Suh and Damon Harrison of the Jets (now with the Giants). Seattle SeahawksSigned from other teams: DT Sealver Siliga (NE), T Bradley Sowell (ARZ), T J’Marcus Webb (OAK)Own free agents signed: WR Jermaine Kearse, CB Jeremy Lane, RB Christine Michael, LB Mike Morgan, DT Ahtyba Rubin, P Jon Ryan Arizona CardinalsSigned from other teams: S Tyvon Branch (KC), G Evan Mathis (DEN)Own free agents signed: DT Red Bryant, P Drew Butler, TE Darren Fells, TE Jermaine Gresham, RB Chris Johnson, DT Josh Mauro, TE Ifeanyi Momah, QB Drew StantonFree agents lost: S Rashad Jonhnson (TEN), T Bobby Massie (CHI), T Bradley Sowell (SEA), LB Sean Weatherspoon (ATL)Retired: LS Mike LeachTrade acquisition: OLB Chandler Jones (NE) acquired for G Jonathan Cooper and a 2016 second-round draft pickAnalysis: The Cardinals have been the most active team in the division thus far, bringing in to elite-level players to fill major gaps in Jones and Mathis. Jones, who has 36 sacks over the last four seasons, gives Arizona the pass rusher they were sorely lacking for good chunks of 2015, and Mathis upgrades the right guard position in a big way after Cooper and Ted Larsen split time at the position last season.GM Steve Keim made another shrewd move, bringing back running back Chris Johnson on a one-year deal. It’s a surprising move too, as the Miami Dolphins had visited with Johnson with hopes of making him their feature back in 2016.last_img

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