Around the NFC West: Foote's plans

Terry Foster of the Detroit News says free-agent linebacker Larry Foote could be close to signing with the Steelers after visiting Arizona. Foster: "Foote said there was a slight chance he could still sign with Arizona."

Gerry Dulac of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says he expects Foote to sign with the Steelers if he passes a physical examination. Dulac: "Foote met last week with the Washington Redskins, where former Steelers defensive assistant Lou Spanos is the new linebacker coach; and also with the Arizona Cardinals, where he would be reunited with several former Steelers coaches and players, including head coach Ken Whisenhunt and former linebacker mate Clark Haggans. But, in each instance, Foote was allowed to leave without signing a contract, something that is not expected to happen with the Steelers, pending a physical."

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com says adding Charlie Whitehurst wouldn't necessarily prevent the Cardinals from also adding Derek Anderson. Urban: "I can see a scenario where the Cards bring in both Whitehurst and Anderson with Matt Leinart — especially if they aren’t thrilled with the aside-from-Sam-Bradford QBs in this draft. Anderson would almost certainly come in on a short-term deal in that regard. Now, you still have to convince the free agents that it’s a place to be despite other guys who are trying hard to find a place to play. Leinart, Anderson and Whitehurst are all desperately trying to get and stay on the field."

Also from Urban: He wonders whether there might be a medical issue with Foote.

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch expects newly signed backup center Hank Fraley to compete for a starting job at guard for the Rams.

Also from Thomas: a look at how the Rams might upgrade at receiver. Thomas: "The Rams are in a tough spot when it comes to upgrading at wide receiver. With the limited unrestricted free agent pool due to the uncapped year, there was very little available. Nate Burleson and Antonio Bryant got nice contracts, but they’re not No. 1 receivers or difference makers. Terrell Owens is still out there -- never mind his antics, he’s on the decline and no longer an elite player. Denver’s Brandon Marshall is a restricted free agent, but comes with tons of baggage, and right now the Broncos want a first-round draft pick as compensation. As far as the draft, there are a lot of good receivers, but don’t seem to be many great ones. Finding one that can be a clear upgrade is the challenge."

Mike Berardino of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel says former Rams guard Richie Incognito has a visit lined up with the Dolphins.

Howard Balzer of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat passes along LeCharles Bentley's take on Fraley, noting that the Browns acquired Fraley from Philadelphia after Bentley suffered a serious knee injury. Bentley: "He didn’t look the part, and you wondered how this guy could play at a high level. But he came in just before the season and took command. He’s a hard-working guy, a blue-collar guy. He adds value to a team on the field and in the locker room."

Also from Balzer: NFL owners might have no plans to specifically address the Rams' pending sale at the league meetings beginning March 21.

Turf Show Times' VanRam catches up with Rams defensive end Chris Long, who sums up his progress this way: "The big difference was the just the sacks. I was playing the run well most of the season. I had to pick up my pass rushing a little bit, and there were some things I did getting more comfortable with the scheme, adjusting my game a litle bit and just kind of let it fly once I felt comfortbale with the scheme. I'm not the only one who had the burden of learning a new scheme. But once you master that scheme it was just a great scheme. I feel like a lot of guys improved. I was certainly one of those guys, but there's a long way to go. I think the biggest thing is that I was getting to the quarterback more."

Matt Maiocco of the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat says the 49ers' trade with Detroit involving Shaun Hill was contingent on Hill passing a physical and the 49ers receiving David Carr's signed contract. Maiocco: "Carr received the original contract while on vacation in Cabo San Lucas last week. He is expected to deliver the document when he arrives today in the Bay Area for the 49ers' offseason conditioning program, which begins Monday."

Also from Maiocco: a chat transcript with thoughts on left guard David Baas, among others. Maiocco: "I don't think anyone with the 49ers is sold on David Baas as a long-term answer. And they don't want to give him any kind of lucrative extension. Therefore, they are not averse to having a veteran guard to play a couple years before finding a new guy to plug in there."

Matt Barrows of the Sacramento Bee suggests the Hill trade might have come together when executives for the Lions and 49ers met at Oklahoma State's recent pro day.

Daniel Brown of the San Jose Mercury News quotes a USC marketing expert as saying 49ers fans should understand recent price hikes on some tickets. Said the expert: "The reality is that some of these fans have had premier seats on the cheap for a long time. That's a very cynical way to say it. But can a fan really be mad that they've had their seats under market value for a number of years?"

Mason Kelly of the Seattle Times says former Seahawks coach Jim Mora plans to help out at Bellevue High School in the Seattle area. Says Bellevue coach Butch Goncharoff: "Jim will be involved. I don't know in what capacity yet. It's great. He's an outstanding guy in whatever capacity we get him, even if it's only for spring ball or summer. It's great to have him around. He's a great resource for us."

Greg Johns of seattlepi.com wonders why the Whitehurst is drawing interest from the Seahawks, among other teams. Johns: "Having never seen Whitehurst throw a pass in the NFL regular season, that's going to be hard for anyone to judge. But it's worth noting that Whitehurst hasn't been able to beat out seven-year NFL backup Volek for the No. 2 job in San Diego, so how he's suddenly become a hot property as a restricted free agent seems a bit curious. Keep it in perspective, though. The debate is whether Whitehurst would be a better addition than a third-round draft pick this April, when the possible mid-round candidates will include the likes of Tony Pike of Cincinnati, Dan LeFevour of Central Michigan or Jonathan Crompton of Tennessee."

Nancy Dooling of the Great Binghamton Press & Sun Bulletin says former Seahawks and Rams linebacker Isaiah Kacyvenski was charged for his role in a large brawl at a casino in Connecticut. Dooling: "Kacyvenski and four others were involved in a large altercation in the retail area of the Mohegan Sun Casino in Uncasville, Conn., southeast of Hartford, according to state police. He has a court hearing on April 1 in Norwich, Conn."