Chris Conley

2018 Proven Performance Escalators

According to the NFL’s contractual bargaining agreement, players drafted in rounds three though seven are entitled to raises during the fourth year of their respective rookie contracts. The pay bumps are tied to playing time — a player must have played in 35% of his team’s offensive or defensive snaps in two of his first three seasons, or averaged 35% playing time cumulatively during that period.Jay Ajayi (Vertical)

If one of these thresholds is met, the player’s salary is elevated to the level of that year’s lowest restricted free agent tender — that figure should be around $1.908MM in 2018. Players selected in the first or second round, undrafted free agents, and kickers/punters are ineligible for the proven performance escalator.

Here are the players who will see their salary rise in 2018 courtesy of the proven performance escalator:

49ers: Trent Brown, T; Eli Harold, LB

Bears: Adrian Amos, S

Bengals: Tyler Kroft, TE; Josh Shaw, DB

Bills: John Miller, G

Broncos: Max Garcia, G; Trevor Siemian, QB

Browns: Duke Johnson, RB

Buccaneers: Kwon Alexander, LB

Cardinals: David Johnson, RB; J.J. Nelson, WR

Chargers: Kyle Emanuel, LB

Chiefs: Chris Conley, WR; Steven Nelson, CB

Colts: Henry Anderson, DE; Mark Glowinski, G; Denzelle Good, OL

Dolphins: Bobby McCain, CB

Eagles: Jay Ajayi, RB; Jordan Hicks, LB

Falcons: Grady Jarrett, DT

Jaguars: A.J. Cann, OL

Lions: Quandre Diggs, CB

Packers: Jake Ryan, LB

Panthers: Daryl Williams, T

Patriots: Trey Flowers, DE; Shaq Mason, G

Raiders: Clive Walford, TE

Rams: Jamon Brown, G

Ravens: Za’Darius Smith, LB

Redskins: T.J. Clemmings, OL; Jamison Crowder, WR

Saints: Tyeler Davison, DT

Seahawks: Tyler Lockett, WR

Steelers: Jesse James, TE

Vikings: Stefon Diggs, WR; Danielle Hunter, DE

OverTheCap.com was essential in the creation of this post. Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images. 

Minor NFL Transactions: 10/14/17

Here are today’s minor moves.

  • Jack Mewhort‘s IR trip prompted the Colts to look outside the organization for help. They signed guard Isaiah Williams off the Chiefs‘ practice squad. Williams failed to make the Redskins’ roster out of camp in each of the past two summers but caught on with the Chiefs earlier this season. He’s yet to play in a regular-season game.
  • Chris Conley‘s nationally televised Achilles’ tendon rupture sent the third-year wide receiver to IR, and the Chiefs replaced him on the roster with practice squad wideout Marcus Kemp. The Chiefs signed Kemp as a UDFA out of Hawaii in May and stashed him on their practice squad after the preseason.
  • The Raiders will bring their 2016 third-round pick back to the active roster, re-signing linebacker Shilique Calhoun and placing cornerback Antonio Hamilton on IR, Scott Bair of CSNBayArea.com tweets. Hamilton underwent arthroscopic surgery to repair a torn meniscus. The second-year player played in four games this season for the Raiders, primarily as a special-teamer. Calhoun played in 10 Oakland games last season but landed on the team’s practice squad to start this campaign.
  • The 49ers promoted tight end Cole Hikutini to their active roster from the practice squad. A rookie UDFA out of Louisville, Hikutini’s resided in San Francisco’s practice squad since the preseason concluded. Hikutini will take NaVorro Bowman‘s roster spot.
  • The Texans cut safety Marcus Cromartie and replaced him with practice squad safety Kurtis Drummond, Mark Berman of Fox 26 tweets. Cromartie played the past three seasons as 49ers depth piece. Although Drummond played in four Houston games this season, the team cut him to make room for waiver claim Ben Heeney last week.

Chiefs WR Chris Conley Ruptures Achilles

Chiefs wide receiver Chris Conley ruptured his Achilles during the club’s Sunday night victory over the Texans and will miss the remainder of the 2017 season, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link).Chris Conley (Vertical)

Week 5 was dismal in terms of injuries around the NFL, as the league saw stars such as Odell Beckham Jr., J.J. Watt, and Whitney Mercilus go down for the year. Conley may not be a household name like those players, but he’s been a reliable weapon for Andy Reid‘s Kansas City squad. He actually leads all Chiefs wideouts in snaps this season, and has registered 11 receptions for 175 yards. In 2016, the 24-year-old Conley was an excellent complementary receiver, as he managed 44 catches for 530 yards.

Conley, a third-round pick in 2015, has one year left on his rookie deal. While he was never going to garner a hefty extension, Conley could have possibly inked a new deal following this season. With an Achilles injury now on his record, Conley will likely need to play out his contract before earning any new money.

Kansas City’s offense will continue to run through Kareem Hunt, Tyreek Hill, and Travis Kelce, but wide receivers such as Albert Wilson, De’Anthony Thomas, Demarcus Robinson, or rookie Jehu Chesson could now see increased usage. The Chiefs have two pass catchers — Gehrig Dieter and Marcus Kemp — on their practice squad, and both could be candidates for promotion.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

AFC Mailbags: Browns, Ravens, Titans

Here are some takeaways from some of the latest mailbags produced by AFC reporters.

  • The Browns upset Pro Bowl safety Tashaun Gipson by placing a second-round tender on the restricted free agent instead of a first-round tender, according to Mary Kay Cabot of the Cleveland Plain Dealer. A first-round distinction would’ve paid Gipson $3.35MM this year, as opposed to the $2.36MM he’ll receive if he signs the second-round tender by June 15. Cabot, however, expects the team to offer Gipson a long-term deal before June 15.
  • Before going to the Chiefs at pick 76, Georgia wideout Chris Conley caught the Browns’ eye, likely inducing one receiver-needy team to leapfrog the other, Cabot notes. The eventual receiver Cleveland selected, fourth-rounder Vince Mayle of Washington State, will undergo thumb surgery soon.
  • Wideout DeAndre Carter (Sacramento State) and safety Nick Perry (Alabama) are the best best to make the Ravens as undrafted free agents, per to ESPN.com’s Jamison Hensley. With John Harbaugh proclaiming the team’s next return specialist could emerge from the UDFA contingent, as the team lost Jacoby Jones to the Chargers, Carter’s returning experience in Division I-FCS play bodes well for his chances, notes Hensley. Perry’s work in the Crimson Tide’s pro-style defense helps his cause.
  • ESPN.com’s Paul Kukarsky expects rookie Jeremiah Poutasi to line up at right tackle with the Titans and anticipates former ballyhooed free agent Andy Levitre will have one more season to display the proficiency at left guard that led him to signing a six-year, $46.8MM deal in 2013. Despite ranking as the 45th-best guard last season on Pro Football Focus’ scale (subscription required), Levitre has an $8.6MM cap figure that is tied with Jason McCourty‘s for the Titans’ highest.
  • Dorial Green-Beckham will threaten the playing time of raw outside target Justin Hunter before the second-rounder disrupts No. 1 receiver Kendall Wright‘s path, Kuharsky writes. Wright and Harry Douglas are now the primary slot receivers, with Wright’s versatility likely preventing any such Hunter-DGB looks in two-tight end sets.

Draft Signings: Chiefs, Cards, Titans, Jags

Teams around the NFL continue to lock up their 2015 draft picks, and while we’ll dedicate full posts when first- or second-rounders sign their rookie contracts, we’ll pass along mid-to-late-round signings in round-up posts like this one. Here are the latest draft pick signings from around the league, with all salary info via Over The Cap:

  • The Chiefs have signed third-round receiver Chris Conley, according to Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun (via Twitter). Conley, the 76th overall pick earlier this month, is one of two key additions – along with Jeremy Maclin – to Kansas City’s new-look receiving corps, which will look to reach the end zone at least once in 2015.
  • Mr. Irrelevant, 256th overall pick Gerald Christian, has signed his rookie contract with the Cardinals, per Wilson (via Twitter). Even as the final seventh-rounder to come off the board, the former Louisville tight end did significantly better than he would have as an undrafted free agent, securing a signing bonus worth about $53K.
  • The Titans have agreed to terms with three more of their draft picks, locking up fourth-round defensive tackle Angelo Blackson, sixth-round center Andy Gallik, and seventh-round receiver Tre McBride, tweets Jim Wyatt of the Tennessean. The club still has to sign five of its nine draftees, including second overall pick Marcus Mariota.
  • The Jaguars have signed a pair of draftees to their rookie deals today, according to John Oehser of Jaguars.com, who reports (via Twitter) that fourth-round safety James Sample and seventh-round wideout Neal Sterling are now under contract. Sample and Sterling will receive respective signing bonuses worth about $549K and $78K.
  • The Raiders announced (on Twitter) that they have signed a pair of seventh-round draft picks in wide receiver Andre Debose and tackle Anthony Morris.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Chiefs Acquire No. 76 Pick From Vikings

The Chiefs have moved up four spots in the third round of the draft, acquiring the No. 76 from the Vikings (Twitter link). Minnesota GM Rick Spielman had talked earlier this week about wanting to pick up extra picks, and he’ll do so here, sliding down to No. 80 — the Vikes receive a sixth-round pick (No. 193) as part of the swap (Twitter link).

With that 76th pick, the Chiefs selected a wide receiver, adding Georgia speedster Chris Conley to the roster. Conley figures to be a deep threat to complement noteworthy free agent signee Jeremy Maclin in Kansas City.

AFC North Notes: Flacco, Steelers, Browns

Ravens quarterback Joe Flacco is upbeat about new offensive coordinator Marc Trestman, Aaron Wilson of The Baltimore Sun writes. Although Trestman and Bears quarterback Jay Cutler were not successful together (especially in 2014), Flacco believes that he’ll get along just fine with his OC. “Everybody likes Marc, I think he’s a bright guy,” Flacco said Saturday night. “I think he’s running the meetings well. I think he’s doing some really good things. We’re evolving a little bit. I think he’s going to be a good fit.”

  • Steelers GM Kevin Colbert says there are some “special backs” in this draft, Scott Brown of ESPN.com tweets. Meanwhile, coach Mike Tomlin says the Steelers are open to drafting a running back even after the signing of DeAngelo Williams (link).
  • The Browns had a last minute meeting with Georgia receiver Chris Conley, a league source tells Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. As previously reported, Cleveland also met with Central Florida receiver Breshad Perriman. Conley ran the 40-yard dash in 4.35 seconds at the Scouting Combine, the third fastest time for all receivers in Indy.
  • The Browns could go defensive end, wide receiver, running back, or tab Washington nose tackle Danny Shelton with the No. 12 overall pick, Jeff Schudel of The Morning Journal writes. If they go pass rusher, Randy Gregory could be a phenomenal value for them, but it’d be a gutsy move to take him given the Josh Gordon saga of last season.