Around the NFC West: Classy Holt

Posted by ESPN.com's Mike Sando

Bryan Burwell of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch contrasts Rams receiver Torry Holt to former Cowboys receiver Terrell Owens. Burwell: "Holt, the 32-year-old seven-time Pro Bowler, has asked the Rams to release him after 10 Hall-of-Fame-worthy seasons. He believes the Rams are going in a new direction and that those long-range plans no longer include him. He didn't preen in front of cameras in a press conference in the driveway of his suburban St. Louis home. He didn't hurl insults at management. What he did is what he has always done since he arrived in St. Louis in 1999. He handled himself with class."

Jim Thomas of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch provides additional details on Jason Brown's contract with the Rams, noting that the deal can void after four seasons.

Also from Thomas: The Rams' moderate interest in Heath Evans became irrelevant when the fullback signed with the Saints.

Jim Trotter of SI.com picks apart the 49ers' brief courtship with Kurt Warner. Trotter: "The 49ers decision to court Warner was flawed on so many fronts that it's difficult to decide where to begin. For one thing it sent a mixed message to the players, fans and media about the blueprint for the future. [Mike] Singletary, who had the interim tag removed from his job title in December, has spent the last few months creating the impression that he wants a physical, ground-based offense. Then the team brings in a quarterback like Warner, who is at his best using spread formations and throwing the ball around."

Patrick Willis' hit on Brad Smith stands out as the 49ers' hit of the year in a poll of players. This was about as violent as a hit can be within the rules.

John Crumpacker of the San Francisco Chronicle says the 49ers aren't interested in Terrell Owens even though general manager Scot McCloughan told KNBR the door wasn't closed.

Tim Kawakami of the San Jose Mercury News describes the 49ers as a jittery franchise after listening to McCloughan on KNBR.

Darren Urban of azcardinals.com relays some information from Larry Fitzgerald's USO tour of the Middle East. The Rams' Will Witherspoon is also part of the group.

Revenge of the Birds' Andrew602 declares Warner the Cardinals' player of the year for 2009. Previously, "Steve Breaston has won Most Improved Player, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie won Rookie of the Year, Karlos Dansby won Defensive Player of the Year."

Clare Farnsworth of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer checks in with Seahawks receiver Nate Burleson following the signing of T.J. Houshmandzadeh. Burleson: "It made me smile. I'm excited about what's going on."

Also from Farnsworth: a quick update on the Seahawks' plans in free agency. John Owens has signed. Justin Griffith and Bryan Pittman are visiting. Jermaine Phillips is off the market.