Taking a stroll around the NFC West

One thing I often forget to do while posting is assessing what our divisional competition is up to.  Obviously we'll do preview stuff the week of games, but considering we play 6 out of 16 games against 3 teams, it's a good idea to keep an eye on them so we have some idea as to what to expect.  Every team in the NFL has some sort of question mark to address in training camp and it'd be nice to know what that is for the rest of the NFC West.

Arizona Cardinals
The Anquan Boldin situation has been the biggest national story out of Cardinals camp.  However, now it appears as if the Drew Rosenhaus client might be backing down a little bit.  I have to say that whether you like Rosenhaus or not, his clients report to camp even when unhappy.  He worked out an extension for Gore so that certainly makes me a slightly bigger fan. 

Aside from Boldin, the offensive line seems to be turning into a bit of an issue.  Their starting center, Al Johnson, is having issues with his knee.  It seems like going back several years, the Cardinals have never been able to fully address their offensive line issue.  Right now, it might be safe to say that they have the worst offensive line in the division if you factor in starters and depth.  As long as the offensive line lacks depth, I'd imagine Edgerrin James will not get completely on track and Leinart will have his work cut out for him.  James finished with 1,222 rushing yards, but only averaged 3.8 a carr, good for 37th in the league.

St. Louis Rams
So, if Dante Hall is leading the way in becoming your #3 receiver, is that a good or bad thing?  I was surprised to see he's only 29, but it feels like he's been around forever.  He'll get a chance to solidify his #3 role as rookie Donnie Avery has suffered a small stress fracture in his hip.  Avery will apparently miss anywhere from a few days to a couple of weeks.  That's certainly not the best way for a rookie receiver to make his mark in camp.

In spite of all the injuries, the biggest national story from Rams camp is the Steven Jackson holdout.  If they can come to terms on a deal I don't think the missed time will be too detrimental.  The good news for the Rams is that they have leverage on their side.  According to the recently voided CBA (which applies to this case), "a player shall not receive an Accrued Season for any League Year in which the player is under contract to a Club and in which he failed to report to such Club at least thirty days prior to the first regular season game of that season.”  So that means Jackson has to report to camp a week by next Friday or he loses a year of service time.  No leverage means Jackson will likely blink first.

Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks big news (in my mind) is the signing of former 49er great Bryan Gilmore!  Really, what else needs to be said about that, right?  The Seahawks have some solid, if unsung receivers.  If former Super Bowl MVP Deion Branch can stay healthy they'll be even better.  Of course, can 35 year old Bobby Engram repeat his 94 reception season, 3 more than he had the previous 2 seasons combined?

Elsewhere, the Seahawks are excited about the performance of rookie defensive tackle Red Bryant, a fourth round pick.  He had some character issues coming out of school which seemed to contribute a little to his drop.

Now that we've got a Cardinals blogger, the NFC West is complete at SB Nation.  We're looking for ways to cross-blog and keep everybody completely informed on the division.  If you have any suggestions for interaction between the blogs, please let me know.

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