The latest NFC West chat has come and gone. Full transcript here. Highlights below:
Chris (Broadview Heights, Ohio): Word is that Warner's coming out with his retirement decision on Friday. IF he does retire, do you have any faith in Matt Leinart to lead the Cardinals to a 3rd straight NFC West title? The team is built to contend now and I'd hate to start a rebuild project.
Mike Sando: Leinart is a tough sell based on what we've seen from him. The Cardinals gave him every chance to win the job heading into the 2008 season. The decision to go with Warner was a no-brainer in part because Leinart didn't look great. The reality is that Leinart's contract remains relatively cheap for one more season. I would expect the Cardinals to use that season to find out for sure what they've got in Leinart.
Jerry (Laredo, Texas): Mel Kiper has the 49ers taking an OT and S (Earl Thomas) with their two 1st rounders, wouldnt a OT and DE like Dunlap make more sense or is Safety a big need for them.
Mike Sando: The 49ers need to identify a replacement for Michael Lewis at strong safety. I wouldn't take one early unless the player in question were a force from sideline to sideline. This team has Pro Bowl-caliber players in the front seven (Justin Smith, Aubrayo Franklin, Patrick Willis). Dashon Goldson showed good things in his first season starting at free safety. Lewis had three concussions. It's time for the 49ers to plan for the future at that position and upgrade if possible. That doesn't necessarily mean using a first-round pick on a safety, but it could include such a move.
Matt (Reno): Are the Rams going to let Atogwe walk, and is there any chance the Niners get him?
Mike Sando: The Rams probably will not pay elite money to Oshiomogho Atogwe. They will not pretend he is Ed Reed or Troy Polamalu, in other words. And I don't think they would consider franchising him again. So, yes, Atogwe could find his way on to the market. The 49ers could be a fit because of Atogwe's relationship with Mike Singletary's daughter, but it seems to me as though San Francisco really needs a strong safety.
Calum (Scotland): I'd like to see Seattle use their early draft picks on the O line and a RB. This would allow the team to draft a QB next year in to an offense that should be fairly settled and should provide the basis of the offense for the long term. Hasselbeck is good enough for another year but the defense may suffer in the short term. How feasible is this?
Mike Sando: Sounds logical even though it's hard not to strongly consider a quarterback when you've got two No. 1 picks. I'm not convinced they'll address the offensive line that early, just because that hasn't always been the Alex Gibbs way. The defense will be as good as its pass rush, probably. Getting a playmaker on offense does seem like a must for Seattle. By the way, hope you're OK with me changing cees to esses in offense and defense.