The Rams have owned the NFC West as of late, but it wasn't that long ago the 49ers and Seahawks were duking it out for divisional supremacy.
Five consecutive divisional titles between them. One monumental NFC championship game matchup. Stacked rosters on both sides. Plenty of mutual animosity to go around.
But as is the nature of the NFL, there are ebbs and flows to contention windows, and the 49ers and Seahawks teams of the last couple years have not performed to the standard of those at the launch of the current decade.
The 49ers roster looks considerably different than it did then. Seattle's does, too, particularly after Thursday's developments.
The Seahawks announced that they have parted ways with receiver Doug Baldwin and safety Kam Chancellor after terminating their contracts with failed physical designations. Chancellor spent the entire 2018 season on the reserve/physically unable to perform list due to a neck injury, while Baldwin has undergone multiple surgeries this offseason.
"These are two of the most iconic players in franchise history and both were instrumental in establishing our championship culture, great examples of competitiveness and leadership on the field and in the community," Seahawks general manager John Schneider said in a statement. "These legendary players will always be a part of our Seahawks family."
Baldwin and Chancellor, of course, require no introduction for 49ers fans, having been exposed to their talents early and often throughout the prime of the rivalry. Baldwin was a frequent thorn in San Francisco's side, seemingly always finding a way to get open at the most critical time. Chancellor, all 6-foot-3 and 225 pounds of him, was about as intimidating of a presence as a receiver would find coming across the middle of the field.
Baldwin’s career v. #49ers:— Matt Barrows (@mattbarrows) May 9, 2019
Chancellor’s career v. 49ers:
Cases of Kam-itis*: several
* symptoms include: night sweats, alligator arms, the bobbles, the dropsies, butterfingers, poopedmypants, the deactivate-me blues. https://t.co/Z7ta7JDNsB
With both Baldwin and Chancellor appearing headed for retirement, Earl Thomas signing in Baltimore, and Richard Sherman now playing cornerback for San Francisco, it's officially a new era in the 49ers-Seahawks rivalry.