John Miller

Panthers Sign LB Frankie Luvu, Re-Sign OL John Miller

The Panthers added players on both sides of the ball today. The team first announced the signing of linebacker Frankie Luvu, and they later announced that they’ve re-signed offensive lineman John Miller.

Luvu, a former undrafted free agent out of Washington State, spent the first three seasons of his career with the Jets organization, appearing in 40 total games. The 24-year-old showed signs of being a solid pass rusher throughout his stint with New York, collecting six sacks and 16 QB hits. He also finished the 2020 campaign with a career-high 25 tackles.

Miller is rejoining the Panthers on a one-year deal. The former third-rounder spent the first four seasons of his career with the Bills, starting each of his 47 appearances. He had a brief stop in Cincinnati during the 2019 campaign before joining Carolina last offseason. He proceeded to start 14 games for the Panthers in 2020 at right guard.

The Panthers have been busy adding to their offensive line this offseason. After franchising left tackle Taylor Moton, the team added a pair of free agents in Cam Erving and Pat Elflein.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Contract Details: Lawson, Trufant, Shelton, Witten,

Kyler Fackrell (Giants), One year, $4.6MM, $3.5MM guaranteed, base salary 2020: $2.6MM, $2MM roster bonus, according to Jordan Raanan of ESPN.

Antonio Hamilton (Chiefs), One year, $1.047MM, $887.5k guaranteed, $137.5k signing bonus; salary 2020: $910k ($750k guaranteed), according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.

Shaq Lawson (Dolphins), Three years, $30MM, $21MM guaranteed, $4MM signing bonus; salaries 2020: $6.4MM (fully guaranteed), 2021: $7.9MM (fully guaranteed), 2022: $8.9MM; $2.5MM fully guaranteed roster bonus in 2020, $100k workout bonus in 2020-2021, potential $2MM in annual incentives, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.

John Miller (Panthers), One year, $4MM, $2MM guaranteed, $2MM signing bonus; salary 2020: $1.79MM; $160k in per-game roster bonuses, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.

Danny Shelton (Lions), Two years, $8MM, $4MM guaranteed, $2.5MM signing bonus; salaries 2020: $1.5MM (fully guaranteed), 2021: $4MM, according to Michael Rothstein of ESPN.

Desmond Trufant (Lions), Two years, $20MM, $14MM guaranteed, $5MM signing bonus; salaries 2020: $4.5MM (fully guaranteed), 2021: $9.5MM ($4.5MM guaranteed for injury at signing); $500k in annual per-game roster bonuses, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.

Jihad Ward (Ravens), One year, $1.047MM, $637.5k guaranteed, $137.5k signing bonus; salary 2020: $910,000 ($500,000 guaranteed), according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.

Jaylen Watkins (Texans), Two years, $3MM, $300k guaranteed, $300k guaranteed; salaries 2020: $1.1MM, 2021: $1.4MM; 200k first-game roster bonus in 2020, per Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle.

Jason Witten (Raiders), One year, $4MM, $3.5MM guaranteed; salary 2020: $3.5MM (fully guaranteed); $500k in per-game roster bonuses, according to Tom Pelissero of NFL.com.

Panthers To Sign John Miller

The Bengals released right guard John Miller and replaced him with Xavier Su’a-Filo earlier today. Miller did not remain jobless for long though. The Panthers have agreed to terms with Miller on a one-year, $4MM contract, according to Adam Schefter of ESPN. While the Bengals moved on from Miller, the Panthers have already traded guard Trai Turner and fellow interior offensive lineman Greg Van Roten remains a free agent.

Miller spent the first four years of his career as the primary right guard with the Bills. Last offseason the Bengals signed Miller to a three-year, $16.5MM deal. In 2019, Miller performed in line with his career history, starting 13 games and grading out as the 52nd highest-graded guard of 80 qualified players at Pro Football Focus, but the Bengals still decided to move on.

Bengals To Cut John Miller

The Bengals are releasing starting guard John Miller, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. Miller joined the team as a free agent just one year ago, but he no longer fit into their plans. 

Miller was set to play out the last two seasons on his three-year, $16.5MM deal. By dropping him, the Bengals will save $2.61MM against $2.66MM in dead money.

Last year, Miller started in 13 games for the Bengals. Previous to that, he started in 47 games for the Bills across four seasons. His tenure in Buffalo garnered mixed reviews – in 2017, he was demoted in favor of Vlad Ducasse. But, in 2018, he regained his starting gig and showed enough to land a decent payday with the Bengals. Now, he’ll look for work elsewhere.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Contract Details: Vaccaro, Callahan, Okafor

Let’s take a look at the details of a few recently-signed NFL contracts, with all links going to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle’s Twitter account:

Bengals To Sign G John Miller

John Miller is heading to Cincinnati. The Bengals will sign the free agent guard to a three-year, $16.5MM deal, a source tells Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (on Twitter).

Miller, a third-round pick in 2015, started 47 games over the last four years with Buffalo, including all 15 of his games last year. By signing Miller, the Bengals have upgraded an O-line that will return right tackle Bobby Hart.

Miller has only played at right guard in his professional career, a position that Alex Redmond held down in 2018 for Cincinnati. Redmond, a former UDFA, performed decently, but he was hardly a world-beater, and the same can be said for left guard Clint Boling. At the very least, Miller will provide young, experienced depth.

For what it’s worth, Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics preferred Miller to Redmond last year. Miller was demoted in favor of Vlad Ducasse during the 2017 season, but he regained his starting job in 2018, and he may have done enough to land a modest multi-year pact.

One year ago, the Bills traded left tackle Cordy Glenn to the Bengals. Now, Miller will reunite with his former line mate in Cincinnati.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Bengals To Meet With John Miller

Guard John Miller will visit with the Bengals on Thursday, according to NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter). To date, Miller has spent all four years of his pro career with the Bills. 

Miller, a third-round pick in 2015, has started 47 games over the last four years with Buffalo, including all 15 of his games last year. The Bengals could stand to upgrade their O-line even after re-signing right tackle Bobby Hart, so Miller could help them solidify the unit.

Miller has only played at right guard in his professional career, a position that Alex Redmond held down in 2018 for Cincinnati. Redmond, a former UDFA, performed decently, but he was hardly a world-beater, and the same can be said for left guard Clint Boling. At the very least, Miller would provide young, experienced depth.

For what it’s worth, Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics preferred Miller to Redmond last year. Miller was demoted in favor of Vlad Ducasse during the 2017 season, but he regained his starting job in 2018, and he may have done enough to land a modest multi-year pact.

One year ago, the Bills traded left tackle Cordy Glenn to the Bengals, and Miller could soon reunite with his former line mate in Cincinnati.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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 ESPN.com 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

OverTheCap.com 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.