San Francisco 49ers
New faces: WR Anquan Boldin, K Phil Dawson, QB Colt McCoy, S Craig Dahl, CB Nnamdi Asomugha.
Saying goodbye: QB Alex Smith, S Dashon Goldson, TE Delanie Walker, K David Akers, WR Randy Moss.
Youth movement: It started last season when the veteran Smith lost his job to Colin Kaepernick, who dazzled with his athleticism. How Kaepernick does in his encore will be a deciding factor in whether the 49ers can get back to the Super Bowl.
Best young player: DE Aldon Smith, left.
Pressure’s on: TE Vernon Davis. The 49ers lost No. 1 receiver Michael Crabtree to an Achilles injury in May, leaving Kaepernick without his favorite target. Davis could help his young quarterback out by stepping into that role.
New faces: WR Percy Harvin, DE Cliff Avril, DE Michael Bennett, CB Antoine Winfield, QB Tarvaris Jackson.
Saying goodbye: RB Leon Washington, QB Matt Flynn, DT Alan Branch, CB Marcus Trufant, LB Leroy Hill.
Youth movement: The Seahawks let the veteran linebacker Hill walk in free agency and will replace him with K.J. Wright, a third-year veteran.
Best young player: CB Richard Sherman. It took only one full year as a starter for Sherman to establish himself as the best cornerback in the NFL. Entering his third year, Sherman is in the early prime of his career.
Pressure’s on: DT Tony McDaniel. There aren’t many weaknesses on the Seahawks, but their run defense toward the end of last season was one of them. McDaniel started just two games in four years with Miami.
St. Louis Rams
New faces: OT Jake Long, TE Jared Cook, WR Tavon Austin, LB Alec Ogletree, S T.J. McDonald.
Saying goodbye: RB Steven Jackson, WR Danny Amendola, S Quintin Mikell, S Craig Dahl, LB Rocky McIntosh.
Youth movement: The Rams let Amendola and Brandon Gibson go in free agency, meaning they lost two of their top receivers over the last few seasons. To replace them, they’ll count on Austin — whom they traded up with the Bills in the draft to get — and Chris Givens, Austin Pettis and Brian Quick.
Best young player: DE Robert Quinn. Teamed with Chris Long, Quinn forms one half of a dynamic pass-rushing pair. The North Carolina product had 10.5 sacks in his second year.
Pressure’s on: RB Daryl Richardson. He’s tasked with replacing one of the best players in franchise history in Jackson.
New faces: QB Carson Palmer, DE John Abraham, RB Rashard Mendenhall, LB Jasper Brinkley, LB Karlos Dansby.
Saying goodbye: QB Kevin Kolb, S Adrian Wilson, RB Beanie Wells, CB William Gay, WR Early Doucet.
Youth movement: The Cardinals declined to re-sign the veteran safety Wilson, one of their most productive players, and will replace him with Rashad Johnson. He has 14 starts in his first four seasons.
Best young player: CB Patrick Peterson. One of the league’s most exciting returners, Peterson developed last season into one of the best cover corners, as well.
Pressure’s on: LB Karlos Dansby. The veteran returns to the team he spent his first six seasons with. He’ll have to replace inside LB Daryl Washington, one of the best players at his position, who is suspended for the first four games of the season. –J.S.