As free agency approaches, every team in the NFC West is looking to add a few new pieces to make their teams more competitive for the 2021-2022 season. Here are my three most essential needs for each NFC West team.
Cap Space: $17.1 million
1. Offensive Line
The Seattle Seahawks’ first significant need this offseason is offensive lineman, as their offensive line last season was ranked 16th per PFF. As well, Russell Wilson was a sacked 47 times. Joe Thuney, a free agent this offseason, would bolster that offensive line and help protect Russell Wilson. If the Seahawks don’t address this problem, they won’t have success in 2021.
2. Defensive End
Another big problem for the Seahawks in 2020 was their lack of pass rush from their defensive ends and tackles. The defensive line was ranked 27th for their interior lineman, and 29th ranked for their defensive ends. A player like Jurrell Casey would help set the edge for the Seahawks and get after the quarterback. Although it may seem unreasonable given his market value, the Seahawks must improve their defensive line for the 2021 season.
The third and final need for the Seattle Seahawks this offseason is a cornerback, as the Seattle cornerbacks got torched last season. There were multiple times last season where a receiver was completely wide open and gained many yards. Technically, it’s not all on the Seahawks cornerbacks, as the team did play a lot of zone, allowing opposing teams receivers to get wide open. Regardless, Patrick Peterson, who is open to playing for a different team other than the Cardinals, would seriously help the Seahawks in their zone coverage.
Los Angeles Rams
Cap Space: $37.9 million
1. Wide Receiver
The Los Angeles Ram’s first significant offseason need is a wide receiver. As other than Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods, Jared Goff didn’t have too many other targets on the field. In actuality, it was pretty much the only person that Jared Goff threw the ball to. With an addition like Sammy Watkins, the Rams offence will drastically improve as Matthew Stafford will have at least three decent receivers on the field.
2. Inside Linebacker
The inside linebacker position is another need for the Rams heading into this offseason. Micah Kiser, who only played nine games last season was far from productive. Despite having two great outside linebackers and pass rushers, that inside linebacker position needs a significant overhaul. Kwon Alexander would be an excellent pickup for the Rams and add even more firepower to that hall of fame defence.
Other than Jalen Ramsey, the Rams are a little weak at the cornerback position. Adding another cornerback would help secure that secondary and take the pressure off Jalen Ramsey. A.J Bouye would give that much-needed help to Jalen Ramsey and company. Despite having a disappointing 2020 campaign, I believe that Bouye can help improve the Rams secondary.
San Francisco 49ers
Cap Space: $23.4 million
The biggest question for the 49ers offseason is the quarterback position. Jimmy Garoppolo had a disappointing 2020 season, and his job could be in jeopardy. A new QB via trade would be highly unlikely but still plausible. With Russell Wilson possibly wanting out of Seattle, he would be the perfect fit for the 49ers. I think it would be the best option for the 49ers, considering that Deshaun Watson isn’t leaving Houston anytime soon.
The linebacker position for the 49ers wasn’t the strongest in 2020 and requires some big improvement. Other than pro bowl linebacker Fred Warner, the 49ers could use some extra help. Von Miller who is a free agent this offseason could be the added help that the 49ers need to push themselves back into playoff contention. Despite his age, I still think that Miller has some milage left and can elevate the 49er’s defence to the next level.
3. Wide Receiver
Despite having Deebo Samuel on their roster, the 49ers are in need of one more superstar wide receiver. As whoever the quarterback for the 49ers is at the start of next season, they will need some receivers to catch the ball. A.J. Green would add some needed height to the 49er’s receiver core and bolster it for sure. A.J. Green was frustrated with the Bengals last season, so watch out for him as he may be heading to the 49ers.
Cap Space: $20.6 million
With the Cardinals starting cornerbacks Patrick Peterson, Dre Kirkpatrick, Johnathan Joseph and Kevin Peterson set to hit Free Agency. The Cardinals will either need to sign them or look elsewhere on the free-agent market for a cornerback. If one of them decides to walk, then veteran corner Casey Hayward would be a suitable replacement to keep their secondary intact. An important position to maintain for the Cardinals if they want to have success in 2021.
The kicker position for the Cardinals is another significant need for the 2021 season. With Zane Gonzalez’s struggles in 2020, a new kicker for the Cardinals is essential. Matt Prater who is a free agent this offseason is who I would pick up. Prater had an outstanding 2020 season, finishing the year with a field goal percentage of 93. Fixing the kicker position is critical for the Cardinals if they want to make a push for the playoffs.
3. Tight End
The Cardinals aren’t known for having any superstar tight ends and I think this offseason that changes. As even though Maxx Williams is under contract, injury problems from last season could repeat in 2021. With few tight-ends left on the market, someone like Kyle Rudolph would be a perfect addition. The Cardinals adding Rudolph would seriously help take their offence to the next level and make it much more explosive.