Joining Associated Press photographers at the annual showcase for draft-eligible talent is our enterprising 49ers Studios crew.
In this edition of the NFC West Report, we catch up with the San Francisco 49ers three divisional rivals as they regroup following the 2015 NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis.
St. Louis Rams
In the news:Although franchise quarterback Sam Bradford has played in only seven games since 2013 due to injury, general manager Les Snead dismissed rumors that the organization was considering trading or releasing the signal-caller. "Deleting him is not the answer. I don't know if that solves our riddle. I think the answer is providing insurance in case we do go through more bad luck," Snead said. Bradford, who suffered a torn ACL in the preseason last year, has reportedly been progressing well in his injury rehab.
Former 49ers signal-caller Jeff Garcia interviewed for the open quarterbacks coach position, but the Rams instead pegged Chris Weinke as Bradford's new coach. Weinke, a Heisman Trophy winner at Florida State, finished his playing career in 2007 as Alex Smith and Trent Dilfer's backup in San Francisco. Weinke goes to St. Louis after serving as the director of IMG Academy's football program since 2010. While there, he helped train Panthers quarterback Cam Newton for the NFL Draft.
At the combine: When asked about media speculation concerning the Rams possibly relocating to Los Angeles, coach Jeff Fisher told reporters, "My focus, and of course this is coachspeak, is on this year and our football team in St. Louis. And as things come up, nearly on a daily basis right now, they're going to continue to change and whatever happens, happens. But I love St. Louis, we've got a great fanbase. We've got some work to do as we go through this process, however it ends up, but our focus is on 2015."
In the news: After some uncertainty surrounding his future with the team, veteran wideout Larry Fitzgerald finalized a restructured two-year contract on Feb. 18 to remain in Arizona. Fitzgerald had been scheduled to carry a $23.6 million salary cap hit in 2015. The new deal creates about $13 million in cap space for the Cardinals, who are now slated to pay Fitzgerald $22 million over the next two seasons instead of $30 million.
Although they kept Fitzgerald, the Cardinals released another mainstay on their roster: defensive tackle Darnell Dockett. The Pro Bowler was scheduled to carry a $9.8 million salary cap number in 2015. Dockett, who did not play in 2014 due to an ACL tear, had only missed two games in 10 previous years in Arizona. According to ESPN's Ed Werder, Dockett is scheduled to visit the 49ers this week.
Lastly, the Cardinals locked up head coach Bruce Arians and general manager Steve Keim with contract extensions through the 2018 season. The team also holds a 2019 option for both leading men. In the last two seasons under Arians and Keim, Arizona has won a combined 21 games.
At the combine: When asked about the rehab progresss of quarterback Carson Palmer, who is recovering from a Week 10 ACL tear, Arians told reporters, "Don't jinx me, baby. He's doing extremely well, and he's working his tail off. He's at least three or four weeks ahead of schedule. He keeps talking about coming back for minicamp. We'll see how he progresses whether or not we allow him to do anything, but I'm really pleased with where he is at."
In the news: According to coach Pete Carroll, the only way running back Marshawn Lynch doesn't return to the Seahawks next season is if he retires. "We've never thought of the future without him, so hopefully that will work out," Carroll said. In related news, Lynch, who is under contract for one more season in Seattle, told a sports network in Turkey that he was "expecting the ball" on the Seahawks final offensive play in last month's Super Bowl loss.
On the injury front, the Seahawks learned that neither safety Kam Chancellor (knee) nor cornerback Richard Sherman (elbow) will need to undergo surgery this offseason. On the flip side, cornerback Jeremy Lane (knee) and safety Earl Thomas (shoulder) aren't as fortunate. Lane will soon undergo surgery, and his status to begin the 2015 season is "up in the air." Thomas had his procedure done on Feb. 23 and will reportedly miss six to eight months.
At the combine: When asked about how new defensive coordinator Kris Richard will replace Dan Quinn, who took the Atlanta Falcons head coaching job, Carroll told reporters, "Kris is the best secondary coach I've ever been around and done an incredible job with our guys. He'll continue to make sure that stays at that level as the coordinator."