LA Rams training camp focus as Cardinals 49ers Seahawks do arms race

(Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images)
(Photo by Leon Bennett/Getty Images) /
3 of 4
LA Rams
(Photo by Michael Zagaris/San Francisco 49ers/Getty Images) /

49ers pressure to keep pace

The San Francisco 49ers may be the defending NFC Champions, but they know it’s a Not-For-Long league. That being said, they entered the 2020 season with high expectations. But they have the same headwinds driving against their remaining atop the NFC as the Rams from a year earlier.

They lost productive WR Emmanuel Sanders in free agency. They traded away stellar DL DeForest Buckner.  And the injury bug is already nipping, as their other veteran WR Deebo Samuel suffered a foot injury and his return is not anticipated for a couple of months. So the 49ers drafted DT Javon Kinlaw and then WR Brandon Aiyuk.  The only thing is? They are rookies entering the league at difficult positions with almost no training camp.

49ers are scrambling their jets, trying to remain atop the west

So the 49ers are adding players.  Right now they are kicking tires on players to help their defensive line,  DE Dion Jordan, as well as Ziggy Ansah:

Meanwhile, the 49ers offensive skill players have been drastically depleted. The retirement of left tackle Joe Staley forced the 49ers to trade a 2020 fifth round and a 2021 third-round pick for veteran offensive lineman Trent William.

Hot. LA Rams rookie WR Earnest Edwards already fan favorite. light

49ers add another offensive weapon

Meanwhile rookie WR Aiyuk will be hard-pressed to make up the difference for both Sanders and Samuel. So the 49ers signed a former target of the Rams in Jordan Reed.

After all of the dust settles, and with all of these moves, the 49ers are a bit weaker team than a year ago. Is it enough to remain atop the NFC West? Not if the Seattle Seahawks have a say in it.