Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch says longtime Rams executive John Shaw is stepping down from the team now that Stan Kroenke has taken over as majority owner. Shaw: "This was a joint decision by Stan and myself. Stan provided me an opportunity to stay on if I so chose. But I just thought that this was a good time to do this. I appreciate the fact that he gave me my head and let me make a decision about officially ending the relationship. I felt it was the right time to do this. I really tried to do this gracefully and without any type of announcement." Shaw, when reached by the Post-Dispatch, was on his way out to dinner with former owner Chip Rosenbloom. Shaw clearly fit better when Rosenbloom was running the team, and the dynamics had changed with Kroenke taking control.
The Rams' website says team executive Kevin Demoff will participate in a chat March 2.
Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com does not expect Troy Smith or Brian Westbrook to return to the 49ers. Maiocco: "Jim Harbaugh always cites accuracy high on the list of attributes he wants from his quarterback. Troy Smith completed 50.3 percent of his passes. Also, Harbaugh's brother, John, released Troy Smith prior to the start of the regular season last year and decided to stick with just two quarterbacks (Joe Flacco and Marc Bulger) on his Baltimore Ravens roster. As for Westbrook, Harbaugh made it clear he likes Anthony Dixon as Frank Gore's backup. He also noted Gore will not be spending too much time on the sideline. At the conclusion of the regular season, I asked Westbrook what kind of situation he was looking to find in 2011."
Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee offers thoughts on the 49ers' draft options from NFL Network's Mike Mayock. Mayock: "I think that Von Miller from Texas A&M is the prototype 34 rush linebacker. He's got an innate ability. He not only has a great get off and quickness, he also can bend his body and twist and turn and flatten the corner to get to a quarterback. He's a tiny bit undersized. You've got to get yourself comfortable with that. He's not as big as, say, DeMarcus Ware was when he came out, but I think he's tough enough to overcome that. And I think if you're talking about the first round at No. 7 and you're looking for an edge rusher, I think Von Miller's the guy as far as the outside linebacker's concerned."
Eric Branch of Santa Rosa Press-Democrat notes that the 49ers' new assistant secondary coach, Greg Jackson, played with Harbaugh.
Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times says using the franchise tag for Seahawks defensive tackle Brandon Mebane would cost more than $12 million, according to NFL.com. That is consistent with what Brian McIntyre of Mac's Football Blog projected in late January. O'Neil: "Mebane's value goes beyond Seattle, though. He plays a position that is becoming increasingly expensive across the league to the point that the franchise tag is no longer as economical of a solution. Certainly not like it was last year. Six players were designated with the franchise tag in 2010. Three played defensive tackle. Going back to 2007, 46 players have been designated with a franchise tag. Seven were defensive tackles, which matches the most at any one position."
Also from O'Neil: a round-by-round look at draft choices the Seahawks hold, including the fifth-rounder acquired from Baltimore in the Josh Wilson trade. That pick would have upgraded to a fourth-rounder had Wilson made 10 starts.
Bob McManaman of the Arizona Republic passes along thoughts on the Cardinals' draft options from Mayock. Mayock: "If you believe there is a franchise quarterback, that trumps every other need. And since Kurt Warner retired, that underscores that point better than anything I can say. So if you believe Blaine Gabbert is the guy, you've got to take him right there. I think they have to be evaluating him right now. But they also have to be evaluating Von Miller, who is the prototype rush linebacker and a guy who immediately becomes a headache and a guy you've got to game-plan for every week coming off the edge. And Patrick Peterson is definitely the third guy I think you have to be looking at because of his ability to play the corner position and possibly kick inside a little bit down the road like Antrel Rolle did a few years back. But if they believe like I believe that Gabbert is a top 10 pick, that would be my guy at No. 5." That is the easy part. The hard part is determining whether Gabbert is or is not worthy of "the guy" status.
Darren Urban of azcardinals.com says Kerry Rhodes is headed for Kentucky's hall of fame for pro football.