Around the NFC West: Latest on Clemons

Seemingly conflicting reports regarding the Seattle Seahawks' leading pass-rusher made news over the weekend.

Len Pasquarelli of the Sports Xchange said defensive end Chris Clemons planned to play out his contract and hit free agency after rejecting the team's offer. Eric Williams of the Tacoma News Tribune cites a Seahawks source as saying the team received no formal rejection, and negotiations continue.

Translation: Clemons is frustrated, the Seahawks are biding their time and communication between the parties could stand to improve.

There's no reason at all for Clemons to rule out anything with 83 days remaining until the Sept. 9 regular-season opener. There's also little reason for the Seahawks to rush into a deal with a player going nowhere anytime soon.

Clemons is under contract through the 2012 season. In the absence of a new deal, Clemons cannot leave until March 2013 at the earliest, depending upon whether Seattle names him its franchise player.

Unfortunately for Clemons, he has little leverage. The team knows he'll show up to collect his $4 million salary. The team knows Clemons will play hard, not just because it's his style, but also because he must play well to maintain his value. The team knows the franchise tag serves as an insurance policy if Clemons puts together a career season. Also, the team has time to line up a replacement for 2013 if Clemons does leave after this season.

Danny O'Neil of the Seattle Times says the Seahawks would not consider Antonio Bryant unless the receiver improves his conditioning.

Greg Bedard of the Boston Globe checks in with former Rams coach Steve Spagnuolo, who says he'd be 10 times better if given another chance to become a head coach. Spagnuolo: "I think I’m a better football coach. I know if given the opportunity again, which I hope happens, I will be a 10-times-better head coach because sometimes you learn more from your failures than you do from your success." Noted: Spagnuolo might be much improved from 2009, his first season as a head coach. He makes good points about the lockout and injuries severely hurting the Rams last season. The Saints probably must enjoy success on defense for Spagnuolo to get another shot anytime soon.

Nick Wagoner of stlouisrams.com runs through each of the Rams' linebackers. Wagoner on Jo-Lonn Dunbar: "He’s still young at 27 and the Rams believe his best football is ahead of him. He spent his first four years in New Orleans and played every linebacker spot. He says he’s most comfortable in the middle but he can play either outside spot. With the Rams so far, he’s played almost exclusively on the weak side. It’s possible he could shift over to the strong side because of the addition of McIntosh but he did just go through an offseason program playing one spot so it would also make sense to leave him there."

Dan Bickley of the Arizona Republic says Cardinals defensive coordinator Ray Horton could be an attractive head-coaching candidate if Arizona's defense continues to improve. Bickley: "This season, he has better talent, more depth at cornerback and linebacker. His players have a comfort level and experience. They have full trust in Horton's abilities, something the new guy had to earn on the fly in 2011. And for the first time since he arrived in Arizona, Horton has installed his entire playbook."

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com details past contract disputes involving Cardinals rookies, noting there won't be any under the current labor agreement.

Matt Maiocco of CSNBayArea.com checks in from a charity even featuring Joe Montana, Steve Young, Aaron Rodgers, Tom Brady and Jim Plunkett. Maiocco: "Montana and Young, members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame and competitive teammates, were seated next to one another on stage. Prior to the event, they spoke comfortably to one another and mingled with guests. There was no hint of the tension that existed during most of their six seasons as teammates -- each fighting desperately to win playing time from the other. Although the subject of their relationship was not broached, Montana and Young both offered glimpses of their competitive natures."

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee points to Randy Moss and Perrish Cox among standouts from the 49ers' recent minicamp. Barrows: "Cox, meanwhile, jumped out for his aggressiveness, which promises to be even more pronounced when the pads come on next month. He's playing three positions - cornerback, nickel back and punt returner -- a trifecta that bodes well for his making the 53-man squad. Others who distinguished themselves include Michael Crabtree and Kyle Williams on offense, and Chris Culliver and Tramaine Brock on defense."

Mike Rosenberg of the San Jose Mercury News says fans hoping to purchase and then sell seat licenses at the 49ers' new stadium might be buying at the wrong time.