Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch quotes Colts owner Jim Irsay as saying Shahid Khan's bid to purchase the Rams could be headed for approval. Irsay: "I think indications are that (Khan's) strength of wealth is there. His background and those sort of things are really positive. It's not something that we've got our final reports on, but all indications are that it's trending in a positive direction for him." Thomas also checks in with part-owner Stan Kroenke, who isn't saying how he'll proceed. Thomas: "In reality, Kroenke probably has only two options: maintain his 40 percent share or sell it. Because in pretty strong language Monday, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell indicated that the league wasn't inclined to bend its cross-ownership rules to allow Kroenke to match (Shahid) Khan's offer." Kroenke also owns the Denver Nuggets and Colorado Avalanche.
Bernie Miklasz of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch estimates there's a 20 percent chance Marc Bulger could return to the Rams in 2010. Miklasz: "Unless something unexpected develops, the Rams will draft Sam Bradford and they have A.J. Feeley to serve as an interim QB while they get the rookie ready to play. And what would be the point of keeping Bulger -- who makes big money -- around as a highly expensive third quarterback? That doesn’t seem to make a lot of sense. If the Rams back away from Bradford AND decline to draft a QB in the 2nd or 3rd round -- a QB that figures in their short-term plans -- then I could see them revisiting the idea of keeping Bulger. But that is unlikely." I can't see Bulger returning.
Howard Balzer of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat provides a general Rams update, noting that the team did not work out Sam Bradford or give him a physical examination during a recent meeting with him in Florida.
Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times lists the Seahawks' additions and subtractions to this point in free agency. O'Neil on Cory Redding: "Redding lost his starting job after three games. He got his first sack in the 10th game. But when coach Pete Carroll was hired, Redding was one [of] the players he mentioned in radio interviews as a lineman the team was hoping to find an effective role for. And to be fair, Redding was one of the most impactful players on the defense over the final month of the season. Coincidence or contract? You be the judge on that one."
John Morgan of Field Gulls isn't expecting much from new Seahawks quarterback Charlie Whitehurst. Morgan: "A team can wager a lot or a little on a low-value asset. It can see Whitehurst for what he is, a backup quarterback with some warts and some potential not unlike Brady Quinn or Derek Anderson, or it can lock onto one player, forego negotiations and pay the sticker price for his services. Seattle did the latter." I think the Seahawks settled for Whitehurst after determining they did not like Seneca Wallace, could not get Kevin Kolb for a reasonable price and did not feel comfortable with the quarterbacks most likely to be available in the draft. That doesn't seem like the best way to find a quarterback. The question then becomes whether the Seahawks paid too much for what they're getting.
Darren Urban of azcardinals.com isn't sure where the Cardinals go from here in free agency. He thinks Sean Morey wants to return to the team despite making a free-agent visit to Seattle. I think there's a decent chance Morey winds up with the Seahawks. It's looking like Arizona will be overhauling much of its receiving corps. Anquan Boldin and Jerheme Urban are already gone. Morey was more of a special-teamer, but he counted as a receiver on game days when the Cardinals configured their 45-man roster. Taking him out of the mix could give Arizona three new receivers on game days who weren't part of the regular rotation when the 2010 season opened. Early Doucet supplanted Urban during the season. Also from Urban: "Veterans who are waiting now for bigger potential deals probably aren’t going to get them, and historically it’s even harder to get a decent deal after the draft because teams have filled up their holes with new talent that can be home-grown. What happens to Mike Gandy or Chike Okeafor, for instance (other than that they won’t be in Arizona)?"
Gwen Knapp of the San Francisco Chronicle says the 49ers need to hire another general manager after parting with Scot McCloughan. Knapp: "There are NFL teams that can afford to be creative and defy the standard structure of a front office. The 49ers are absolutely, categorically, definitively not one of them. They have a team president and head coach with less than three years' experience between them, a roster that has not been properly updated this offseason and a seven-year absence from the playoffs."
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee provides an overview of Jed York's comments regarding Scot McCloughan's departure as general manager. Barrows: "York said that he has yet to decide on the structure of the team's front office moving forward, and that he wasn't sure whether he would have a general manager in the future. He said those decisions would be made after the draft. He was resolute, however, in stating that neither he nor his top lieutenant, Paraag Marathe, would become the team's general manager."
Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat passes along York's commitment to Alex Smith as the starting quarterback. York sounded a lot like McCloughan. York: "I think it's great this is the first time he's had continuity at the offensive coordinator. When you have some weapons around him with Crab (Michael Crabtree) with Vernon (Davis) with Frank (Gore), I think Alex is poised to have a good season for us. And (we're) more excited that Alex is our starting quarterback."
Lowell Cohn of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat says York's comments raised more questions. Cohn: "If the Niners don't have a GM what will they have?"
Daniel Brown of the San Jose Mercury News says McCloughan would have kept his job absent personal issues, according to York.