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Most surprising move for each NFC West team on cutdown day

Trey Lance was supposed to be the future of the NFC West, but he’s now a Dallas Cowboy

NFL: AUG 13 Preseason - Rams at Chargers Photo by Ric Tapia/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The pecking order across the NFC West feels fluid as the dawn of the NFL regular season is just on the horizon. The theme of training camp for the San Francisco 49ers was a bizarre quarterback competition. The Seattle Seahawks snuck into the playoffs a year ago and have added more young talent. The Los Angeles Rams are embracing a rebuild—especially on the defensive side of the ball—but have enough star power to be frisky at points. The Arizona Cardinals are offloading tradeable pieces and should be among the favorites to land the first overall pick in next years NFL Draft.

There were a few surprising transactions across the NFC West as teams across the NFL trimmed their offseason rosters to arrive at their final 53. The regular season kicks off on September 7th.

These are the most surprising moves for each of the NFC West teams as part of their final cutdowns for regular season rosters.

Arizona Cardinals

Swapping veteran QB’s and not announcing a starter... yet

The Cardinals acquired veteran quarterback Josh Dobbs from the Cleveland Browns and a 2024 seventh-round pick in exchange for a fifth-round selection in the same year. Afterwards, the team released Colt McCoy who had started in relief of Kyler Murray at times over the last couple of seasons and filled in admirably.

Arizona has not yet announced a Week 1 starter, though their options are either Dobbs or rookie fifth-round pick Clayton Tune from Houston.

Los Angeles Rams

Cutting Logan Bruss, Robert Rochell

While Bruss’ and Rochell’s play on the field this preseason did not warrant spots on the regular season roster, moving on from relatively high draft picks (at least for the Rams) and formerly heralded players runs counter to LA’s usual approach to development.

One of the main themes of Rams camp this year was competition, and you can’t use that mantra if you aren’t willing to keep the best players. There are no redshirt years on this year’s team, and Bruss and Rochell are collateral damage as part of this new outlook.

San Francisco 49ers

Trading Trey Lance to the Dallas Cowboys, keeping Brandon Allen as QB3

It was surprising during the first days of 49ers training camp that Brandon Allen (former Ram) was getting as many practice reps as former third overall pick Trey Lance, though in hindsight we know Lance was traded to the Dallas Cowboys in exchange for a future fourth-round selection and Allen has made the roster as San Fran’s third QB.

The team is embracing Brock Purdy as the starter just months after he suffered an UCL injury in the NFC Championship game. Sam Darnold is the team’s insurance policy and QB#2, and seeing him in the Kyle Shanahan offensive scheme would be interesting to say the least.

The 49ers have clearly mismanaged the quarterback position since the 2021 season, but this seems to be a step to turn the page. That doesn’t make the move any less surprising.

Seattle Seahawks

UDFA Jake Bobo makes 53-man roster in talented WR corps

The Seahawks have one of the more talented receiving trios across the NFL in Tyler Lockett, DK Metcalf, and rookie first-rounder Jaxon Smith-Njigba. Smith-Njigba is in danger of missing the regular season opener against the Rams, which could insert fellow-rookie and UDFA Jake Bobo into the starting lineup in certain personnel packages.

Bobo impressed over the preseason. His 6-4 frame gives the Seahawks another large body to go with Metcalf, and it’s an interesting juxtaposition to smaller receivers like Lockett and JSN. Will Bobo be able to translate his preseason production into the regular season, or could he flame out like former Rams WR Lance McCutcheon?