John Miller

East Rumors: Collins, Fins, Bills, Lauvao

Landon Collins has yet to practice with the Giants this offseason. He underwent a second surgery on the forearm he broke late last season. The latest operation delayed the fourth-year safety’s timetable, but he’s hoping to be back on the field in time for Giants minicamp next month, Tom Rock of Newsday notes. Collins expects to be cleared in a few weeks, per Rock. It’s possible the Giants could hold him out until training camp, with the standout defender having essentially nothing to prove in June workouts, but the holdover Giant defenders are adjusting to James Bettcher‘s new scheme. That makes OTAs and minicamp more important than they were a year ago. However, Collins said he’s running currently and will push the new coaching staff to let him work with his teammates in a few weeks.

Here’s the latest from the East divisions:

  • Raekwon McMillan‘s 2017 injury came at a worse time than Collins’ and was far more severe. But the Dolphins linebacker is back in action. McMillan is participating in Miami’s OTAs, per Shandel Richardson of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. The former Ohio State ‘backer and Ryan Tannehill underwent surgeries for ACL tears on the same date last summer and are each progressing accordingly. Both are working with their teammates at OTAs. McMillan was slated to be the Dolphins’ starting middle linebacker prior to his preseason setback.
  • The Redskins opted to bring back veteran guard Shawn Lauvao for what will be a fifth season with the team, doing so possibly because of Arie Kouandjio‘s significant injury. Lauvao’s deal will be a one-year pact worth up to $2.39MM, John Keim of reports (on Twitter). The 30-year-old lineman will earn $950K in base salary, per Keim, who adds this agreement includes a $300K signing bonus and a $200K roster bonus. While only $300K is guaranteed, Keim categorizes the $1MM incentive package as “likely to be earned.”
  • After being benched early last season, John Miller is back working as the Bills‘ first-unit right guard, Joe Buscaglia of WKBW notes. Departures of Richie Incognito, Eric Wood and Cordy Glenn have the Bills’ line in an interesting place, but Miller has started all 32 games in which he’s played since Buffalo used a third-round pick on him in 2015. Vlad Ducasse usurped him after the guards’ offseason competition, which Miller won, continued into the regular season. Miller did not see action after this post-Week 4 demotion, but Buffalo is giving him another chance entering his contract year. If Miller sticks at right guard, Ducasse would be in line to fill Incognito’s left guard position.

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

East Notes: Bradford, Wilkerson, Giants

Eagles offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur held the same position in St. Louis during Sam Bradford‘s rookie season with the Rams, when the No. 1 pick won Offensive Rookie of the Year and nearly led the team to the playoffs. So, as Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer writes, head coach Chip Kelly turned to Shurmur for input and information on Bradford before Philadelphia acquired him in March. While Shurmur’s endorsement didn’t directly lead to the trade, the Eagles OC is optimistic about what Bradford can do with the club.

“I certainly have a very strong, good opinion of what he can accomplish,” Shurmur said. “Had he been able to stay healthy, he wouldn’t have been available for us. When the deal was getting made, I had my fingers crossed in the background that it was going to get done.”

As we wait to see how the Shurmur/Bradford reunion plays out, let’s check out some more notes from around the NFL’s two East divisions….

  • Jets head coach Todd Bowles said yesterday that he wasn’t sure whether or not Muhammad Wilkerson would report to the Jets’ mandatory minicamp this month, but a person familiar with the defensive lineman’s thinking tells Steve Serby and Bart Hubbuch of the New York Post that Wilkerson will be in attendance. Wilkerson has been absent from the club’s offseason activities so far, as he seeks a new contract.
  • The Giants continue to keep an eye out for potential offensive line help, general manager Jerry Reese tells Dom Cosentino of NJ Advance Media. With Will Beatty out for the season, the team could use some veteran depth. “Obviously, everybody has around 90 men on their roster right now, so there’ll be some cuts,” Reese said. “There will be some chances to add some offensive linemen.”
  • Bills coach Rex Ryan sounds impressed with third-round guard John Miller so far, as Vic Carucci of The Buffalo News writes. “When we took him, we thought he’d be our starter and we’ll see,” Ryan said. “But I feel pretty confident that he’s going to be a major contributor for us.”

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Draft Signings: Browns, Bills, Titans

Here at PFR, we’re dedicating full posts to each player from rounds 1 and 2 that signs on with their respective teams. All of the other players, from rounds 3-7, are rounded up into posts such as these. The latest signings from rounds 1 and 2..

  • The Browns announced that they have signed defensive back Ifo Ekpre-Olomu, a seventh round choice. The Browns have now agreed to deals with over half of their class, with seven of 12 players in the fold. That group includes second-round linebacker Nate Orchard and first-round defensive tackle Danny Shelton, but does not yet include the club’s other first-rounder, Cameron Erving.
  • The Bills signed third-round guard John Miller and fifth-round running back Karlos Williams, Vic Carucci of The Buffalo news tweets. The Bills now have four draft picks signed and two to go.
  • The Titans (on Twitter) announced that they have agreed to terms on deals with fourth-round fullback Jalston Fowler and fifth-round running back David Cobb. Fowler, an Alabama product, played in 53 games during his collegiate career. He recorded 113 carries for 738 yards and five touchdowns.
  • The Broncos announced (on Twitter) that they have signed fifth-round pick Lorenzo Doss. The cornerback had three interceptions for Tulane in 2014. If both players make the roster, Doss will join former Tulane teammate Taurean Doss in the secondary. Denver tapped Nixon in the seventh round.

Draft Visits: Strong, Steelers, Lions, Langford

With draft night just eight days away, several teams who are doing research and due diligence on Marcus Mariota are also intrigued by Bryce Petty, tweets Jason La Canfora of While Petty may not be a first-round pick, he could very well be the third signal-caller off the board after Jameis Winston and Mariota, says La Canfora.

The fact that the draft is now right around the corner also means that today is the final day for teams to host pre-draft visits for prospects. While clubs can still conduct private workouts over the next several days, visits have to be completed by tonight. Here are a few updates on the final visits happening around the NFL:

  • Jaelen Strong, WR (Arizona State): Visiting the Texans today, according to Ian Rapoport of (Twitter link). The team will get a chance to look at his injured wrist.
  • Landon Collins, S (Alabama); Preston Smith, DE (Mississippi State); Dexter McDonald, CB (Kansas); Davis Tull, OLB (UT-Chattanooga): All visiting the Steelers today, per Scott Brown of (Twitter links).
  • Danny Shelton, DT (Washington): Visiting the Lions today, writes Dave Birkett of the Detroit Free Press.
  • La’el Collins, T (LSU); Jamon Brown, T (Louisville): Also visiting the Lions today, tweets Michael Rothstein of
  • Jeremy Langford, RB (Michigan State): Has had visits with the Colts and Buccaneers in addition to previously-reported visit with Broncos, tweets Josh Katzenstein of the Detroit News.
  • Paul Dawson, LB (TCU): Recently visited the Falcons, after previously having worked out for the club, per Vaughn McClure of (Twitter link).
  • John Miller, G (Louisville): Visiting the Saints today, according to Rand Getlin of Yahoo! Sports (via Twitter).
  • Alani Fua, OLB (BYU): Visiting the Eagles today, tweets Aaron Wilson of the Baltimore Sun.