Around the NFC West: 49ers conserving cash

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Gwen Knapp of the San Francisco Chronicle criticizes the 49ers for using a "quasi-furlough" to save money at the expense of administrative employees. Knapp: "Interpret that as admirable environmentalism, if you will. But the decision seems more like petty efficiency than progressivism, and it appears costly to some of the most meagerly compensated people in the franchise. If the team can afford a more lavish locker room, it could tolerate letting a few people come to work last week."

Taylor Price of 49ers.com checks in with 49ers offensive lineman Tony Wragge following the guard's participation in a broadcasting boot camp. Wragge: "It's like a craft. You have to hone your craft just like playing football. You have to loosen up and have it be natural."

Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat says the 49ers' offense appears to be faring well under new coordinator Jimmy Raye. Maiocco: "Raye has already installed all of his offense. Because he uses the same digit terminology that [Norv] Turner, [Jim] Hostler and [Mike] Martz used, it has not been difficult for the players to pick up. It showed toward the end of OTAs when Shaun Hill and Alex Smith looked better on the practice field than I have ever seen them."

Sportsradiointerviews.com summarizes Kurt and Brenda Warner's recent interview with Dan Patrick. Brenda has fun at Kurt's expense, saying he wasn't worthy of a 2004 award as man of the year. Listen here.

Revenge of the Birds' Andrew602 wonders how high Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie might rank among the NFL's top cornerbacks. While Rodgers-Cromartie will continue to improve, opponents will also develop a better feel for them. Quarterbacks will identify tendencies and prepare for him now that Rodgers-Cromartie has played extensively. The Cardinals' pass rush will also affect him. On paper, however, Arizona should have the best secondary in the division and one of the best in the league.

Bryan Burwell of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says some football lovers in Los Angeles are resigned to continued life without the NFL, even with the Rams up for sale. Burwell: "Billionaire real estate developer Ed Roski Jr. wants to build an $800 million stadium complex there in order to lure an NFL franchise back to Los Angeles. Most people in LA and more than a few significant ones within the NFL's inner circle are convinced that this is an impossible mission. Even with a net worth of more than $2.5 billion, it turns out that the man Forbes ranked as the 195th richest man in America still may not have enough cash to get the job done."

Will of Rams Herd lists Warner, 49ers coach Mike Singletary, Rams running back Steven Jackson and Cardinals defensive coordinator Bill Davis among the NFC West's key variables. His characterization of the 49ers' front office diverges from what I've seen. I would also probably find a spot for Seattle's Matt Hasselbeck in the top four. But the concept is a fun one to consider. Hat tip: VanRam.

Jason La Canfora of NFL.com, citing information from the NFL Management Council, says the Seahawks spent more on payroll than every team but the Cowboys from 2004 through the 2008 season. Only 13 teams spent more money than the Cardinals. The Rams and 49ers were not among them. Management Council members include Jerry Jones (Cowboys, 1st), Mike Brown (Bengals, 23rd) and Clark Hunt (Chiefs, 31st). Expect me to have some fun with this information in the near future.