The NFC West featured two talented playoff teams and two others that could be on the verge of testing their rivals. The Seahawks, 49ers, Cardinals and Rams make up the hardest division in football. Those around the division have kept relatively quiet when it comes to adding outside talent, but have retained some of their own. Now those teams will look to build on their performances from last season.
Here is how the division shakes up in the eyes of SB Nation:
Moves: Lost WR Golden Tate to free agency, lost S Chris Maragos to free agency, re-signed DE Michael Bennett, re-signed QB Tarvaris Jackson, re-signed K Steven Hauschka, released DE Chris Clemons, released DE Red Bryant, re-signed DT Tony McDaniel, lost CB Brandon Browner to free agency, released WR Sidney Rice
The Seahawks, like most Super Bowl winners, have lost several players. However, they have been able to re-sign some of their more important players to new deals. While Rice, Clemons and Browner have gone elsewhere, they had little to do with the team's playoff run. The team can now focus on finding their replacements in the NFL. The biggest move for the Seahawks was clearly the re-signing of Bennett, who was the team's top pass rusher.
San Francisco 49ers
Moves: Signed CB Chris Cook, re-signed K Phil Dawson, lost S Donte Whitner to free agency, signed S Antoine Bethea, re-signed CB Eric Wright, released CB Carlos Rogers, traded for OL Jonathan Martin, traded for QB Blaine Gabbert, lost WR Mario Manningham to free agency
The 49ers have added a few backup players via trade, as well as re-signed several of their own. The team did let Whitner walk but quickly replaced him with Bethea. The team also moved on from Rogers but got younger at cornerback with Cook. The 49ers seem poised to also lockup quarterback Colin Kaepernick to a long-term extension as well.
Moves: Lost LB Karlos Dansby to free agency, re-signed LB Matt Shaughnessy, released G Daryn Colledge, released LB Jasper Brinkley, re-signed DE Frostee Rucker, re-signed TE Jake Ballard, signed OT Jared Veldheer, re-signed DL Marcus Benard, signed WR Ted Ginn Jr., signed RB Jonathan Dwyer
The Cardinals have taken care of their major need at left tackle with Veldheer. However, they did lose Dansby to free agency. The team has added weapons on offense with Ginn and Dwyer to give Carson Palmer move options in the passing game. Arizona also let go of some dead weight with larger contracts so that it could have more room for other deals.
St. Louis Rams
Moves: Released G Harvey Dahl, re-signed OT Rodger Saffold, re-signed Jo-Lonn Dunbar, released CB Cortland Finnegan, lost G Shelley Smith to free agency, lost OG Chris Williams to free agency, lost QB Kellen Clemens to free agency
The Rams have stayed relatively quiet this offseason. They have re-signed Saffold after the Raiders oddly failed him on a physical and also got back Dunbar. The release of Finnegan and Shelley's free agency have led both to the Dolphins. Clemens moving to San Diego should not impact the team unless Sam Bradford goes down again...