Kolton Miller

Contract Details: K. Miller, Lockett, McCoy

Catching you up on the details of a few recently-signed deals:

  • Raiders LT Kolton Miller: Three-year extension to keep Miller under club control through 2025. This looks like a fairly team-friendly deal. Miller was paid a $2MM roster bonus today and will earn a $9.5MM salary this year. He is also due a guaranteed $13.5MM roster bonus in 2022, but beyond a few $50K workout bonuses in 2022 and 2024-25, all of the money is in the form of non-guaranteed salary. His salaries from 2022-25 are $3.275MM, $14.225MM, $12.256MM, and $12.256MM (Twitter link via Field Yates of ESPN.com).
  • Seahawks WR Tyler Lockett: Four-year extension to keep Lockett under club control through 2025. $19MM signing bonus. $13MM option bonus in 2022. Base salaries from 2021-25 are $2MM, $3MM, $9.7MM, $15.3MM, and $15.3MM. $1.6MM roster bonuses in 2024 and 2025 (Twitter link via Yates). 2021 cap hit of $9.25MM (previously $14.95MM).
  • Cardinals QB Colt McCoy: One-year deal. Veteran salary benefit. Worth $1.2MM with $137K guaranteed and counts $987K against the cap. Twitter link via Dan Duggan of The Athletic.

Raiders, Kolton Miller Agree To Extension

The Raiders have made some major changes on their offensive line, but they will make sure their left tackle will not be going anywhere for a while. They agreed to terms with Kolton Miller on an extension Tuesday, Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com reports (on Twitter).

Miller agreed to a three-year deal worth more than $18MM annually, per Fowler, who adds the three-year veteran will receive more than $42.6MM fully guaranteed. The contract will end up averaging just north of $18MM per year, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. The agreement locks in Miller through the 2025 season. Miller’s rookie contract, including the fifth-year option, ran through 2022.

This marks the first extension handed out to a member of the 2018 draft class, which became extension-eligible in January. The Raiders had a Miller extension in mind for a bit now, and they will take care of their first draft pick of the second Jon Gruden era. After trading down with the Cardinals in a deal that sent them ex-UCLA quarterback Josh Rosen, the Raiders took Rosen’s blindside Bruins protector at No. 15 overall. The Raiders’ pick worked out, with Miller having started 46 games in three seasons.

Las Vegas’ Miller decision comes after the team surprised most by gutting its offensive line. The Raiders traded Pro Bowlers Rodney Hudson and Trent Brown and also dealt its longest-tenured O-lineman, Gabe Jackson. While the team still opted to bring back Richie Incognito and Denzelle Good, Miller is now this O-line’s unquestioned anchor.

Pro Football Focus has not viewed Miller as a high-end tackle just yet, though it did assign the 25-year-old blocker his best grade last season. He ranked a career-best 34th among tackles in 2020. While Miller has helped Josh Jacobs to back-to-back 1,000-yard rushing seasons and been present for consecutive Derek Carr top-11 QBR campaigns, this extension marks a bet in further Miller development.

At $18MM annually, Miller’s new deal comes in fifth among left tackles. It will land just below the recently established top tier at the position. However, the $42.6MM fully guaranteed comes in second at the position. That is a significant win for Miller, considering this is a three-year deal. Even Laremy Tunsil‘s market-reshaping three-year extension did not include this much in fully guaranteed money. While the Raiders bailed on their previous monster tackle accord, shipping Brown to the Patriots after two seasons, they will bet big on Miller.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Raiders Prioritizing Extension for LT Kolton Miller

The Raiders have undergone a major shakeup of their offensive line this month, trading high-priced blockers Rodney Hudson, Gabe Jackson, and Trent Brown. The club did bring back guards Denzelle Good and Richie Incognito while adding former Texans pivot Nick Martin, and according to Vincent Bonsignore of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the Raiders also want to keep one of their former first-rounders in the fold for the long haul (Twitter link).

Bonsignore says Las Vegas is prioritizing an extension for left tackle Kolton Miller, the No. 15 overall pick of the 2018 draft. The team will need to decide whether to pick up Miller’s fifth-year option for 2022 — valued at $10.88MM — by early May, but that is a mere formality at this point.

Negotiations could certainly be interesting. There are now three left tackles — San Francisco’s Trent Williams, Green Bay’s David Bakhtiari, and Houston’s Laremy Tunsil — earning over $20MM per year, and Baltimore’s Ronnie Stanley is pulling down $19.75MM per year. But all four of those players have at least one Pro Bowl to their credit, while Miller has not earned any such accolades. Plus, because the Raiders can keep him under club control for two more seasons at below-market rates, Miller may need to give up a little earning power if he truly wants the security of a long-term deal.

But Miller has certainly proven himself worthy of a new contract. Many believed Jon Gruden reached when he selected the UCLA product, and those rumblings only intensified when Miller struggled in his rookie campaign. Still, the club saw promise in the 6-8, 325-pounder and stuck with him on the blindside even after signing Brown to a major free agent deal in March 2019.

Miller has since rewarded that faith, as he has turned in back-to-back solid seasons and still appears to be on an upward trajectory. Pro Football Focus considered him the 34th-best tackle in the game in 2020 (out of 79 qualifiers), but he earned the 15th-best pass-blocking score. His run-blocking mark pulled him down a bit, but again, there is reason to believe he will only continue to improve.

And he may soon become the elder statesman of the OL room. As Bonsignore tweets, one of the primary reasons the team parted with a few high-priced O-linemen over the past several weeks is because of the depth of the 2021 class of blockers, so look for Gruden and GM Mike Mayock to add some reinforcements to QB Derek Carr‘s collection of bodyguards next month.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL’s Fifth-Year Option Salaries For 2021

The NFL’s 2021 salary cap has been set at $182.5MM, marking the league’s first reduction in a decade. With that, the league has also ironed out the value of this year’s fifth-round option for 2018 first-round picks.

Here’s the full rundown, via NFL.com’s Tom Pelissero (on Twitter):

1. Baker Mayfield, Browns, QB — $18.858MM (playing time)

2. Saquon Barkley, Giants, RB — $7.217MM (1x Pro Bowl)

3. Sam Darnold, Jets, QB — $18.858MM (playing time)

4. Denzel Ward, Browns, CB — $13.294MM (1x Pro Bowl)

5. Bradley Chubb, Broncos, LB — $12.716MM (1x Pro Bowl)

6. Quenton Nelson, Colts, G — $13.754MM (2x Pro Bowl)

7. Josh Allen, Bills, QB — $23.106MM (1x Pro Bowl)

8. Roquan Smith, Bears, LB — $9.735MM (playing time)

9. Mike McGlinchey, 49ers, OT — $10.88MM (playing time)

10. Josh Rosen, Cardinals, QB*

11. Minkah Fitzpatrick, Steelers, S (drafted by Dolphins) — $10.612MM (2x Pro Bowl)

12. Vita Vea, Buccaneers, DT — $7.638MM

13. Daron Payne, Washington, DT — $8.529MM (playing time)

14. Marcus Davenport, Saints, DE — $9.553MM

15. Kolton Miller, Raiders, OT — $10.88MM (playing time)

16. Tremaine Edmunds, Bills, LB — $12.716MM (1x Pro Bowl)

17. Derwin James, Chargers, S — $9.052MM (1x Pro Bowl)

18. Jaire Alexander, Packers, CB — $13.294MM (1x Pro Bowl)

19. Leighton Vander Esch, Cowboys, LB — $9.145MM

20. Frank Ragnow, Lions, C — $12.657MM (1x Pro Bowl)

21. Billy Price, Bengals, C — $10.413MM

22. Rashaan Evans, Titans, LB — $9.735MM (playing time)

23. Isaiah Wynn, Patriots, OT — $10.413MM

24. D.J. Moore, Panthers, WR — $11.116MM (playing time)

25. Hayden Hurst, Falcons, TE (Drafted by Ravens) — $5.428MM

26. Calvin Ridley, Falcons, WR — $11.116MM (playing time)

27. Rashaad Penny, Seahawks, RB — $4.523MM

28., Steelers, S Terrell Edmunds — $6.753MM (playing time)

29. Taven Bryan, Jaguars, DT — $7.638MM

30. Mike Hughes, Vikings, CB — $12.643MM

31. Sony Michel, Patriots, RB — $4.523MM

32. Lamar Jackson, Ravens, QB — $23.106MM (1x Pro Bowl)

* Rosen was released from his original contract and, therefore, is not option-eligible 

As a refresher, the fifth-year option year is now fully guaranteed. In the past, it was guaranteed for injury only. The values are also dependent on certain performance metrics:

  • Two-time Pro Bowlers (excluding alternate Pro Bowlers) will earn the same as their position’s franchise tag.
  • One-time Pro Bowlers will earn the equivalent of the transition tag.
  • Players who achieve any of the following will get the average of the 3rd-20th highest salaries at their position:
    • 75%+ snaps in two of their first three seasons
    • 75%+ average across all three seasons
    • 50%+ in each of first three seasons
  • Players who do not hit any of those benchmarks will get the average of the 3rd-25th top salaries at their position.

Raiders Remove 4 O-Linemen From Reserve/COVID-19 List

Oct 25: Saturday’s COVID-19 tests for Miller, Good, Hudson, and Jackson came back negative, as Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (via Twitter). All four will be available for the Raiders’ battle with the Bucs this afternoon.

Oct. 24: As of Saturday afternoon, the NFL has avoided another major schedule issue. Sunday afternoon’s Raiders-Buccaneers game is a go, and the hosts could well be better equipped to pull an upset.

The Raiders removed offensive linemen Kolton Miller, Denzelle Good, Rodney Hudson and Gabe Jackson from their reserve/COVID-19 list Saturday. The team had placed its other four starting O-linemen on the list because they were deemed high-risk close contacts of Trent Brown, who tested positive for the coronavirus this week.

Brown will miss Sunday’s game, but his blocking mates are on track to play. However, they will not be officially cleared to do so until their Saturday coronavirus tests come back clean, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets. The team will obtain that information Sunday. Its four non-Brown O-line starters receiving clearance will certainly help Las Vegas’ cause against a Tampa Bay defense ranked first in DVOA through six games.

Recently signed defensive lineman David Irving is also set to make his Raiders debut. Reinstated from an 18-plus-month suspension just last week, Irving signed with the Raiders as a practice squad player. The Raiders will see what the former Cowboys starter can do beginning Sunday. Irving, 27, has not played since the 2018 season, when he saw action in only two games, and has been suspended four times by the NFL. In 2017, however, the interior pass rusher notched seven sacks in just eight games (all starts).

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFL Moves Raiders-Bucs Game; Raiders Under Investigation For COVID-19 Compliance

2:56pm: The players the Raiders sent home from the team’s facility Wednesday — Abram, Kolton Miller, Denzelle Good, Rodney Hudson and Gabe Jackson — will be placed on the reserve/COVID-19 list, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. These players now qualify as high-risk contacts of Brown and will need to isolate for five days. Their last contact with Brown was Monday, however. That would allow these players — barring a positive test — to play Sunday, though it will sideline them from practice this week. Still, this development probably points to the NFL needing to postpone this game to Monday or Tuesday.

One good sign: no new positive tests emerged from Wednesday’s round of testing, Pelissero tweets. But the issues the Patriots and Titans experienced with the coronavirus illustrate the Raiders have not necessarily turned a corner here.

2:36pm: The NFL is preparing to move the Raiders-Buccaneers game off its Sunday slate, it appears. The league announced Thursday it will shift Bucs-Raiders from a primetime slot to 3:05pm CT Sunday. Seahawks-Cardinals will now be Sunday’s primetime game.

Positive COVID-19 tests for Trent Brown and Damon Arnette have put the Raiders’ Sunday status in jeopardy. Additionally, the NFL and NFLPA are investigating the Raiders for COVID-19 compliance, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets.

The league has video of Brown and other Raiders offensive linemen congregating without masks, Pelissero adds, and Brown is not believed to have consistently worn his tracking device. He is now on Las Vegas’ reserve/COVID-19 list, and none of the other Raiders told to isolate — the rest of their starting O-line and safety Johnathan Abram — have returned to practice.

This has obviously clouded Sunday’s game. The Raiders have already had their bye week, giving the NFL another major test in this COVID-19-altered season. Brown is asymptomatic, per Pelissero (video link).

The NFL has shifted a few games around this season, but it has thus far avoided postponing a team’s game after a bye week. Las Vegas’ bye came in Week 6. Were the Raiders to see their Week 7 contest postponed to a later date, the league would run into logistical issues getting that contest scheduled. The rumored Week 18 makeup window remains in play, though the league has been able to avoid serious discussions of implementing it. A Raiders postponement beyond Tuesday would push that issue back to the forefront.

Thursday’s schedule change is not the first time the Raiders have run into COVID-19-related trouble. Jon Gruden was issued a six-figure fine for mask violations in September, and Darren Waller‘s charity event last month featured Raiders seen without masks. For now, the league expects Bucs-Raiders to take place in a lower-profile time slot Sunday. But the schedule change makes it easier for another postponement to commence.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Raiders Place Trent Brown On Reserve/COVID-19 List

Ahead of a nationally televised game against the Buccaneers, the Raiders are set to be without their Pro Bowl right tackle. They placed Trent Brown on their reserve/COVID-19 list, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets.

Per the NFL’s new coronavirus protocols, Brown must isolate for five days. That will shelve him for Sunday night’s game. Brown had just returned from an injury that caused him to miss almost all of Las Vegas’ first four games. He came back in Week 5 to help the team to a key upset in Kansas City.

Because of contract tracing, the Raiders will use a strange collection of offensive linemen in practice for the time being. They sent home the rest of their current entire first-string offensive line — Kolton Miller, Denzelle Good, Rodney Hudson and Gabe Jackson — after the Brown news. Jon Gruden hopes this quartet can return by Thursday, per Paul Gutierrez of ESPN.com (on Twitter). Having not been placed on the COVID list, the other Raiders first-string blockers would be able to do so. These players’ last contact with Brown came Monday, per the Washington Post’s Mark Maske (on Twitter). Even if they are deemed high-risk close contacts, they would be able to play Sunday — so long as they do not test positive.

The Raiders also sent starting safety Johnathan Abram home, Gutierrez tweets. They used Sam Young, Patrick Omameh, Andre James, rookie John Simpson and former second-round pick Brandon Parker as their first-string O-line in practice Wednesday. Brown, who signed a then-record tackle contract with the Raiders in March 2019, also missed five games last season but became the rare right tackle Pro Bowl selection.

The Brown news comes a day after the Raiders placed cornerback Damon Arnette on their reserve/COVID-19 list. Individuals do not need to test positive to land on this list, only to be in close contact with someone who has. The upcoming rounds of tests will be critical for the Raiders and the NFL.

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West Notes: Harris, 49ers, Chiefs, Raiders

Shortly after agreeing to a redone 2019 contract, Chris Harris announced intentions to bet on himself in advance of a 2020 free agency venture. The decorated Broncos cornerback bypassed free agency in 2015, signing a five-year extension, but is targeting top cornerback money next year. As for the chances of the Broncos being the team that authorizes such a deal, the soon-to-be 30-year-old defender said that would be the goal.

I’m definitely giving them a shot. Definitely,” Harris said, via NFL.com, of the prospect of re-signing with the Broncos after this season. “The situation could always be salvaged and worked out. So, I’ll go do my thing, and then at the end of the year, whatever, I’ll definitely give them a fair chance, for sure.

I’ve always said I want to retire here and that’s always been my mentality here. So, if I got to go show them in 16 games that I want to retire here, then I’m going to go do.”

When the Broncos and Harris discussed his deal this offseason, both sides preferred a long-term extension. But the parties were so far apart they shifted to this rare pay-raise agreement. The Broncos are projected to hold $50MM-plus in 2020 cap space, and while Harris would stand to profile as their most talented free agent-to-be, it appears this situation can be tabled for several months.

Here is the latest coming out of the West divisions:

  • After converting college safety Tarvarius Moore to cornerback his rookie year, the 49ers recently moved him back. Jimmie Ward‘s broken collarbone prompted this change, with The Athletic’s Matt Barrows noting (subscription required) Moore was stationed at corner as recently as last week. DC Robert Saleh praised Moore’s versatility. Fellow 2018 safety draftee D.J. Reed is also recovering from offseason surgery, so Moore’s latest position switch might not be permanent.
  • Given a starting role by two teams thus far in his career, Carlos Hyde is again set to work as a backup. The Chiefs plan to use Damien Williams as their starter over the former 49ers and Browns first-stringer, OC Eric Bieniemy said (via 610 Sports’ Brandon Kiley, on Twitter). Summoned into action because of Kareem Hunt‘s midseason exit and a Spencer Ware injury, Williams averaged 5.1 yards per carry during the regular season and scored four playoff touchdowns. Coming into his surprise promotion, Williams averaged 3.6 yards per tote in four seasons as a Dolphins backup. A year after signing a three-year, $15.25MM deal with the Browns, Hyde is attached to a one-year, $1.5MM Chiefs pact.
  • Trent Brown did not voice a preference to play left or right tackle, and the 6-foot-8, 380-pound Raiders blocker said moving back to right tackle will be less of a transition than sliding to the left side with the Patriots last year. The Raiders moved Brown because they prefer Kolton Miller on the left side, OC Greg Olson said. “Certainly, we had a chance to study Trent before when he was in San Francisco. We’ve seen him on both sides,” Olson said, via Scott Bair of NBC Sports Bay Area. “We’ve had a chance to have Kolton, obviously, on the left side, so that’s where we’ve started this spring.”

AFC West Notes: Jones, Raiders, Broncos

The Chiefs entered the offseason with two major extensions on tap, but considering Tyreek Hill‘s situation, that number has almost certainly dwindled to one. And Chris Jones looks to be staying away from the team for the time being. Jones did not show for the Chiefs’ voluntary workouts this week, Terez Paylor of Yahoo.com reports. While this may not be contract-related, the now-extension-eligible interior defender may be sending an early message to his team. The Chiefs just gave trade acquisition Frank Clark a massive extension, and despite Clark’s presence as the Seahawks’ top pass rusher last season, Jones outperformed him with 15.5 sacks — far and away the most in Chiefs single-season history for an inside defender. Considering Fletcher Cox received $17.1MM per year after a 9.5-sack season, and on a $155MM cap in 2016, Jones’ representation will surely argue the Pro Bowl snub deserves to be the highest-paid non-Aaron Donald interior lineman in the game.

Here is the latest from the AFC West, shifting to a lineman that already received a massive contract:

  • Although the Raiders gave Trent Brown the biggest contract in tackle history, they plan to use him at right tackle. Jon Gruden confirmed (via NFL.com’s Mike Garafolo, on Twitter) Kolton Miller will stay at left tackle and Brown, who signed a $16.5MM-AAV deal in March, will return to the right-edge spot he occupied in San Francisco. The Patriots used Brown at left tackle, and he played a key role in their championship push in the playoffs. However, this may be geared toward the Raiders’ competition. Von Miller consistently rushes against right tackles, as does Joey Bosa. It is possible Clark will too, though that has yet to be determined. Nevertheless, Brown now easily usurps Denver’s Ja’Wuan James ($12.75MM per year) as the NFL’s highest-paid right tackle.
  • Mike Mayock identified a new key presence in his scouting department. Cowboys west coast area scout Jim Abrams will become the Raiders’ new college scouting director, Alex Marvez of Sirius XM Radio and ESPN.com’s Todd Archer report (Twitter links). Abrams worked with Gruden during part of the Raiders HC’s Buccaneers tenure and has nearly 30 years of NFL experience.
  • The Broncos did use one of their six draft choices on a wide receiver, waiting until Round 6 to do so (Juwann Winfree), but did not add any notable wideouts in free agency. They are counting on Emmanuel Sanders to return from his Achilles injury. Sanders made another key step in his rehab recently, taking to Instagram to show his first on-field sprint following his December injury. Sanders, 32, is entering the final year of his contract.
  • While the Broncos did take a quarterback in the second round, they appear to have their eyes on another developmental project at the position. Their UDFA deal with Brett Rypien comes with a $146K base salary guarantee and a $10K signing bonus, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. This virtually assures the Boise State product and nephew of former Super Bowl MVP Mark Rypien of making Denver’s practice squad, with 9News’ Mike Klis reporting (on Twitter) he will receive $136K if he is part of the Broncos’ taxi unit. That is well north of most P-squad salaries. Rypien’s guarantee represents the largest of John Elway‘s nine-year tenure, per Klis (on Twitter). That said, Joe Flacco, Drew Lock and Kevin Hogan remain likely to be the quarterbacks on Denver’s 53-man roster. The Broncos may have to hope no team claims Rypien if and when he is waived after the preseason.

Raiders To Sign LT Trent Brown

The Raiders are making some serious noise in March. On Monday, the club agreed to sign former Patriots tackle Trent Brown to a four-year, $66MM deal, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com tweets. The pact, which includes $36.75MM guaranteed, will make Brown the highest-paid offensive lineman in NFL history. 

The league-wide dearth of quality offensive lineman has taken the OL market to previously unforeseen heights. Brown had an excellent platform season in his first (and only) year with the Patriots in 2018, but few expected him to break the bank in this fashion.

Last year, Brown started in all 19 regular and postseason games for New England en route to a Super Bowl championship. Pro Football Focus was bullish on his performance, ranking him 32nd among 80 eligible linemen.

The Raiders already had a left tackle in UCLA product Kolton Miller, but he’ll be shifted back over to the right side, Schefter hears (Twitter link). Miller, who many felt was a reach at No. 15 overall in last year’s draft, produced mixed results in his 16 starts last year. The youngster may have a greater comfort level on the opposite side of Brown.

Meanwhile, veteran Donald Penn is a “strong candidate for release,” according to Michael Gehlken of the Review- Journal (on Twitter). By cutting Penn, the Raiders can save $7.225MM against the 2019 cap. Due to injuries, the usually durable Penn was limited to only four games in 2018.

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