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New Faces Around the NFC West Following First Wave of Free Agency

The San Francisco 49ers managed to shore up nearly every major need through the first wave of free agency. What's notable is the 49ers front office managed to do so by retaining a sizable amount of in-house talent, while adding outside depth at a number of positions. The team re-signed several players, including inking Trent Williams to a massive six-year extension and bringing back veteran talent like strong safety Jaquiski Tartt and fullback Kyle Juszczyk.

Meanwhile, the rest of the NFC West have made their own share of moves with the addition of powerhouse names and the surprising departures of notable playmakers.

Arizona Cardinals

Notable Additions: DE J.J. Watt, WR A.J. Green, C Rodney Hudson, CB Malcolm Butler and G Brian Winters

Notable Departures: CB Patrick Peterson, LB Haason Reddick, RB Kenyan Drake, CB Dre Kirkpatrick and TE Dan Arnold

The Cardinals hit the ground running, signing a number of Pro Bowl playmakers in the early days of free agency. The biggest news came ahead of the start of the new league year when Watt requested to be released from the Houston Texans and made a surprise signing in Arizona.

The addition of Hudson, who was acquired in a trade with the Las Vegas Raiders, should help bolster Arizona's offensive line that saw their share of struggles in the interior last season.

Butler's signing doesn't completely solve Arizona's woes at cornerback. However, it makes Peterson's departure easier to stomach after being a cornerstone in the backfield for 10 seasons.

Los Angeles Rams

Notable Additions: QB Matthew Stafford and WR DeSean Jackson

Notable Departures: QB Jared Goff, EDGE Samson Ebukam, TE Gerald Everett, CB Troy Hill and S John Johnson

The biggest news of the Rams offseason was their blockbuster trade that sent 2016 first-overall pick Jared Goff to the Detroit Lions in exchange for 2009 first-overall pick Matt Stafford. The Rams shipped off two first-round draft picks, a third-rounder and Goff with the hopes of the trade elevating their roster back atop the NFC.

Los Angeles' moves (or lack thereof) were a result of limited resources, forcing the team to let several veterans walk in response to the lowered salary cap. The team did manage to re-sign defensive standout Leonard Floyd to a four-year deal following his 10.5-sack outing in 2020.

Seattle Seahawks

Notable Additions: TE Gerald Everett, CB Ahkello Witherspoon, DL Kerry Hyder Jr. and G Gabe Jackson

Notable Departures: WR Phillip Dorsett, CB Shaquill Griffin, TE Jacob Hollister, RB Carlos Hyde and WR David Moore

The Seahawks weren't major players at the start of free agency, but managed to add (and retain) players at several positions as of late. It appeared that protection for their All-Pro quarterback was priority No. 1 for Seattle. The team gave up a fifth-round pick to the Raiders in exchange for Jackson's veteran services to help alleviate their pass protection struggles.

Seattle managed to retain Chris Carson, and signs point to the running back being their clear-cut No. 1 option in the run game.

After signing Hyder Jr. following his sack-leading season with the 49ers, the Seahawks re-signed Carlos Dunlap after cutting the veteran pass rusher as a cap casualty. Now, with just three picks in this year's draft, Seattle's pass rush group appears set heading into the 2021 season.

The biggest question still remains on the future of Pro Bowl linebacker K.J. Wright, who was an integral part of Seattle's defense for his entire career. Wright remains unsigned, however, the door hasn't closed on a potential return to the Pacific Northwest.