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Bills Place Von Miller On IR

Von Miller‘s hopes at returning from his meniscus injury in Week 14 faded quickly. The Bills placed the veteran pass rusher on IR on Thursday, shutting him down for at least four games.

The earliest Miller can now return is Week 17. Given Buffalo’s investment in the future Hall of Famer, it is unsurprising the team would operate cautiously here. While this will hurt the Bills’ pass-rushing capabilities over the next few weeks, it stands to give Miller more rehab time.

We’ve been assessing Von this week and seeing how he is, and we don’t want to rush him back,” Bills GM Brandon Beane said. “This gives us a chance to go ahead and count tonight’s game and three more on injured reserve. And hopefully we can get him back for the stretch run.”

Miller did not tear his ACL but acknowledged he will likely need surgery. The initial Bills plan was to wait for swelling to subside over the next seven to 10 days before making a determination, but they are acting early. By placing Miller on IR ahead of their game against the Patriots tonight, Miller will only need to miss three more. It is perhaps a bit surprising the Bills are factoring roster math into an equation involving a player of Miller’s stature, but Thursday’s call also points to the organization not wanting to risk a setback by the 12th-year edge defender attempting to come back too fast.

It is believed Miller will be fine with using a knee brace upon return. He donned a brace during points of his Broncos stay, which included an ACL tear. Miller bounced back quickly from that December 2013 malady, re-establishing himself as a Pro Bowl rusher — being invited to the next six — and a player who would go on to become the first defender in NFL history to sign two $100MM-plus contracts. Miller, 33, is currently tied to a six-year, $120MM pact — one that includes guarantees into 2024.

The Bills will be without Miller for some rather key games. In addition to this Pats matchup, Miller will miss games against the Jets and Dolphins. The Bills, who also play the Bears during this span, close their regular season with Bengals and Patriots meetings. While Buffalo is ticketed to have Greg Rousseau back in Week 13 after a November absence, the team is 0-2 in the AFC East. How the Bills fare in their three Miller-less division tilts will likely determine if they will need their home blues in the AFC playoffs. At 8-3, the Bills are in decent shape to make the playoffs for a fourth straight season. But even that is not a lock. The Patriots and Chargers both loom at 6-5; a Pats win tonight would provide quite a boost.

Despite their brigade of defensive injuries, the Bills are in fine shape in terms of injury activations. The team has seven of its eight allotted injury moves remaining. One will be saved for Miller, barring a decision for a season-ending surgery. Miller indicated that was unlikely to happen, but it is not a lock the Bills have their top pass rusher back this season. Miller already amassed eight sacks this season, at only a 61% snap snare, so losing him would be a blow for the contending team’s Super Bowl hopes. This will certainly be a situation to monitor this month.

Bills’ Von Miller Avoids ACL Tear; Return Timetable Uncertain

Some good news emerged on the Von Miller front Friday morning, though this situation remains murky. The standout Bills pass rusher avoided an ACL tear, according to ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter (on Twitter) and has a chance to return this season.

However, more tests are coming to determine how much time he will miss. Concern remains regarding the meniscus in Miller’s injured knee, NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport tweets. At some point, a surgery will take place, Rapoport adds. But it is uncertain if Miller will go under the knife soon or in the offseason. The timetable here will obviously have a major impact on Buffalo’s pass rush the rest of the way.

Miller is not expected to make any decisions for a week or two, per Schefter, who adds he is not a lock to return this season (Twitter link). This December decision — have surgery or keep going, likely with a brace — promises to be a seminal moment for the Bills, who have run into a spate of injuries in recent weeks.

Thursday’s injury led to the future Hall of Famer being transported off the Ford Field turf via cart, though Sal Capaccio of WGR 550 notes Miller did not exit the locker room needing crutches or any assistance (Twitter link). Initially, a knee sprain surfaced as a rumored diagnosis. Miller, 33, is expected to miss time. Sean McDermott said Friday that Miller will miss the Bills’ Week 13 game against the Patriots.

This could be a brutal blow for Buffalo, but Miller dodging an ACL tear — an injury that would have shut him down until at least training camp — represents good news for the Super Bowl-contending team.

Miller has a history of major knee trouble, but that came nine years ago. In December 2013, Miller suffered a torn ACL. This injury is to the same knee. That capped a turbulent year for the then-Broncos pass rusher, who began the season serving a six-game substance-abuse ban. Miller, however, returned to top form quickly and put himself on track for Canton beginning in 2014. The former No. 2 overall pick made the Pro Bowl in 2014 — a 14-sack season — and was invited to five more Pro Bowls from 2015-19. While a severe ankle injury prevented Miller from playing in 2020, he returned to form again after a midseason trade to the Rams last year.

Following Miller’s boost to the Rams’ Super Bowl LVI cause, the Bills convinced him to make the rare (for high-profile free agents) trek to western New York in March. Buffalo’s Super Bowl quest played into the eight-time Pro Bowler’s decision. Despite a reduced workload (61% defensive snap rate) compared to the full-time roles he played in Denver and Los Angeles, Miller has already racked up eight sacks and made an impact on the Bills’ younger pass rushers. The Bills being without this era’s best edge rusher the rest of the way would certainly will impact their Super Bowl aspirations. If Miller does return, gauging his post-injury form will be important.

Buffalo has played without second-year edge Greg Rousseau recently, though the 2021 first-round pick is not on IR. The team was also without Tremaine Edmunds and Jordan Poyer against Detroit. The team did get top cornerback Tre’Davious White back in Week 12 and saw Kaiir Elam return after missing two games. Micah Hyde is on IR with a neck injury and is not expected to return this season.

Jets To Bench QB Zach Wilson For Week 12

10:41am: White will receive the call against Chicago, Saleh said. The former Cowboys fifth-round pick made three starts for an injured Wilson last season. White, 27, completed 66.7% of his passes last season and threw five touchdown passes against eight interceptions. Flacco will be White’s backup, per Saleh, who said (via the New York Post’s Brian Costello, on Twitter) Wilson will be inactive.

White created tremendous buzz with his 400-yard game against the eventual AFC champion Bengals, but after suffering an injury in the Jets’ ensuing game, he crashed back to earth via a four-INT dud against the Bills. By benching a formerly coveted prospect for White, the Jets are placing a great deal of faith in a player who has not taken a 2022 snap.

10:03am: Robert Saleh opened the door to a Zach Wilson benching Monday, and the Jets are following through with the move. During a Wednesday team meeting, players learned the second-year quarterback will be benched for Week 12, Adam Schefter of ESPN.com reports (on Twitter).

Considering the investment the Jets made in Wilson, it is obviously a major development they are sitting him due to performance issues so early in his tenure. The team bailed on a No. 3 overall pick (Sam Darnold) after three seasons to take Wilson second overall. But Wilson has floundered since returning from a preseason knee injury, putting Saleh in a bind.

At 6-4, the Jets have a chance to secure their first playoff berth since 2011. That currently represents the NFL’s longest postseason drought — by a considerable margin. The team has greatly improved on defense, vaulting from 32nd in Saleh’s first year to being a top-10 unit in both total defense and points allowed. Wilson has done well to restrict that defense, struggling to justify that No. 2 overall investment.

Wilson, who rocketed onto the first-round radar after a breakthrough 2020 season at BYU, has completed less than 56% of his passes this season and has thrown just four touchdown passes in seven 2022 starts. Wilson’s 55.6% completion rate matches his 13-start rookie figure, inviting concern — especially with the Jets making more investments at receiver this offseason. The Jets are coming off one of the worst offensive performances in franchise history. Their 103 total yards is the fourth-lowest number in franchise annals. Their Wilson-directed Week 18 showing last season (53) ranks as the worst.

Wilson’s comments after his 9-for-22, 77-yard outing in Foxborough also became an issue. The young passer indicating he did not feel he let his defense down rankled some defensive players. Saleh keeping Wilson as the starter may have created a locker room problem. Addressing the situation, Saleh said (via SNY’s Connor Hughes, on Twitter) “maybe there’s a little irritation at the moment, but I don’t think there’s hate.” Still, this could be a significant turning point for the Jets, who have invested tremendous draft capital at the quarterback position in recent years. Wilson remaining on the bench the rest of the way certainly calls his long-term status into question.

The Jets recently demoted Week 1 starter Joe Flacco to their third-string post, moving Mike White — their initial Wilson replacement last year — to the backup job. White emerged as a Wilson threat last year, after becoming the first Jet to surpass 400 passing yards since Vinny Testaverde in an upset win over the Bengals. That talk died down after White struggled to replicate that form, however. When asked who would take over for Wilson if he did not receive the call against the Bears, Saleh did not say whether it would be White or Flacco. Despite starting just three games, Flacco still leads the Jets with five touchdown passes this season. Whoever does receive the call will be tasked with keeping the Jets in the playoff mix.

The Jets could conceivably circle back to Wilson, justifying this as a temporary shutdown to allow for further development. In explaining his decision to bench Wilson, Saleh said the former mid-major prospect’s Jets career is “not over.” Saleh said the intent is for Wilson to play again this season.

While undoubtedly a blow to the team’s big-picture plan, Wilson also is not showing improvement during second season as a full-time starter. The Jets zeroed in on Wilson in 2021, moving the draft’s suspense to the 49ers’ No. 3 spot. After the Jaguars went with locked-in No. 1 prospect Trevor Lawrence, the Jets went with Wilson, doing so despite the latter’s 2020 rise aided by a COVID-19-altered BYU schedule that featured lesser opposition. The Jets will face one of the QBs they bypassed — Justin Fields — on Sunday.

NFLPA Alleging Collusion Over Fully Guaranteed QB Contracts

The Browns’ acquisition of Deshaun Watson was the most controversial storyline of the 2022 offseason, in no small part due to the nature of the contract he signed upon being traded to Cleveland. That five-year, $230MM deal was fully guaranteed, leading many to wonder if a new precedent had been set for high-end quarterbacks in future deals.

League owners were reportedly upset over the fact that Watson – given the legal battle he was facing at the time over allegations of sexual misconduct which ultimately led to an 11-game suspension to begin his Browns tenure – received such as deal far eclipsing even the one Kirk Cousins signed in Minnesota in 2018 (three years, $84MM) which was also fully guaranteed.

It’s like, ‘Damn, I wish they hadn’t guaranteed the whole contract.’ I don’t know that he should’ve been the first guy to get a fully guaranteed contract,” Ravens owner Steve Bisciotti said in March“To me, that’s something that is groundbreaking, and it’ll make negotiations harder with others.”

Remarks such as those have led the NFLPA to accuse the league of collusion on the matter of full guarantees, as detailed by The Athletic’s Kayln Kahler (subscription required). The union has filed a system arbitration proceeding which will be overseen by Christopher Droney (Twitter links via Mark Maske of the Washington Post). Such action will take place confidentially, which at this point obscures what direct evidence (if any) the NFLPA has to make its case.

In the months following the Watson deal, two mega-contracts were handed out: Kyler Murray‘s extension in Arizona (five years, $230.5MM), and Denver’s long-term investment in Russell Wilson (five years, $245MM). While each pact contains sizeable guarantees, neither come near the figure the Browns handed Watson. As a result, it appeared that the league was making a concerted effort to distance themselves from Cleveland and make the Watson deal an outlier.

Per a league memo distributed to team owners and executives in the wake of the allegations, the NFLPA is arguing that “[t]he expectation was that fully guaranteed contracts would now become the competition driven norm for the top players in the League, including quarterbacks, negotiating new contracts,” and that “NFL owners and/or League executives discussed not agreeing to any additional player contracts with fully guaranteed salaries” at the August owners meeting.

Most notably, the union is requesting that the arbitrator allow “certain quarterbacks who have been adversely affected by the collusive agreement” to exit their existing contracts. That could include passers like Murray and Wilson, but also Ravens QB Lamar Jackson. The latter is technically scheduled for free agency this coming offseason, but is universally expected to receive the franchise tag in the absence of a long-term deal. The sticking point in negotiations from the summer was the degree to which the Ravens would guarantee Jackson’s second contract.

If successful, the union would achieve an entirely unprecedented feat in having existing contracts voided and/or damages awarded. For that reason (in addition to the lack of known concrete evidence in their case), Kahler’s sources are highly skeptical that such action will take place. As one executive stressed, league owners remain adamant that the NFL does not follow other major North American sports leagues in guaranteeing player contracts in full across the board.

While this news is certainly noteworthy, it is not entirely surprising. While speaking to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk last month, outgoing NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith spoke about the potential for legal action on the point of collusion.

“Sometimes your best evidence comes from people who make comments that look like they are careless but are actually rooted in something factual,” he said against the backdrop of the league’s fall meetings taking place. “I am being a little bit cagey, but anytime we see what has been occurring in the markets and we hear comments that validate those concerns, we have never shied away from exercising both our legal rights and our collective bargaining rights to protect our players and people shouldn’t be surprised if something happens in the near future.”

This represents the first formal collusion allegations since those made by Colin Kaepernick and Eric Reid in 2017 and 2018, respectively. They ultimately resulted in a 2019 settlement. The outcome of this process – which neither the league nor the union has commented on – will be worth monitoring as another offseason (and, therefore, a new crop of QBs eligible for monster extensions) draws near.

Broncos HC Nathaniel Hackett Cedes Play-Calling Duties To Klint Kubiak

About a month after he said he would continue to call offensive plays, Broncos head coach Nathaniel Hackett has had a change of heart. Per Tom Pelissero of NFL.com, Hackett is ceding play-calling duties to quarterbacks coach Klint Kubiak.

Denver’s 3-6 record qualifies as one of the league’s biggest disappointments in 2022, as the team made a blockbuster offseason trade to acquire quarterback Russell Wilson and entered the campaign with Super Bowl aspirations. Early-season missteps earned Hackett, a first-year head coach, plenty of criticism and compelled him to hire Jerry Rosburg out of retirement to assist with gameday management. But mounting injuries and persistent offensive struggles have conspired to keep the Broncos out of the playoff picture, and now Kubiak will have a larger role in the club’s efforts to make a second-half run.

Kubiak, 35, is the son of longtime NFL offensive coordinator and head coach Gary Kubiak. In 2021, the younger Kubiak served as the play-caller and OC for the Vikings, who finished 12th in the league in total offense and 14th in yards per game. Per Pelissero, that experience is what prompted Hackett to tab Klint Kubiak as Denver’s new play-caller, and both men, along with offensive coordinator Justin Outten, will be heavily involved in game-planning. Hackett and Outten will of course remain on the headset during games, though Kubiak will now be the primary voice in Wilson’s ear.

Pelissero adds that Wilson and Kubiak have formed a strong relationship despite the team’s struggles. However, they will have their work cut out for them, as the Broncos have 15 players on injured reserve, including key offensive contributors like left tackle Garett Bolles and running back Javonte Williams. Moreover, receivers Jerry Jeudy and KJ Hamler will miss Sunday’s contest against the Raiders due to injury.

As of the time of this writing, Denver is last in the league in points per game, and Wilson has completed a career-worst 57.4% of his passes en route to a poor 81.4 QB rating. On the other hand, the Broncos are in the middle of the pack in terms of total offense, so there is some hope that a different play-calling approach will put more points on the board. And although the deadline trade of pass rusher Bradley Chubb will sting, the team is tops in the NFL in scoring defense, second in total defense, and its six losses have come by an average of five points. All of that provides further hope for a turnaround.

Hackett really had no choice but to make this move. Rumors are already swirling that he may be a one-and-done head coach, and the Rosburg hire, along with the pivot to Kubiak as play-caller, at least demonstrates that he is willing to put ego aside for the betterment of the team. Last year, Eagles head coach Nick Sirianni ceded play-calling duties to offensive coordinator Shane Steichen in the middle of the season, and Philadelphia’s offense was much-improved after the switch. In 2022, the 8-1 Eagles continue to thrive, so there is recent precedent for Hackett and Broncos fans to dream on.

Titans OC Todd Downing Arrested On DUI Charge

1:32pm: The Titans have begun an internal investigation into this situation, and head coach Mike Vrabel has been in contact with Downing, as noted by team reporter Jim Wyatt (on Twitter). The NFL, meanwhile, has also opened an investigation into the matter, one which could produce a range of consequences. ESPN’s Adam Schefter tweets that the league has been in contact with Tennessee, no doubt to ascertain exactly when it is that Downing began drinking. Depending on the outcome of the probe, significant discipline could be coming.

8:25am: Titans offensive coordinator Todd Downing was arrested on a DUI charge early Friday morning, Terry McCormick of TitanInsider.com reports. Downing was speeding at the time of the arrest, Tony Garcia of WSMV adds.

This arrest occurred in Tennessee hours after the Titans’ 27-17 win over the Packers at Lambeau Field. Tennessee Highway Patrol pulled over Downing at 3:49am; he was released from Williamson County Jail at 6:46am. Downing, 42, is in his second season as the Titans’ play-caller.

An Eden Prairie, Minn., native, Downing has been with the Titans since 2019. This is his second OC gig, coming after a one-and-done stay as the Raiders’ play-caller back in 2017. Downing has been an NFL assistant since 2005, when he broke into the league with the Vikings.

Downing’s stock will undoubtedly take a hit as a result of this development. Suspensions have followed other staff DUIs in the recent past, so it will be interesting to see how the Titans proceed here. The team’s plane landed at approximately 2:11am, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk adds, raising questions about where Downing began consuming alcohol Friday morning.

After hiring Downing as their tight ends coach in 2019, they promoted him to replace Arthur Smith in 2021. The Titans are coming off their best offensive performance of the season. They gained a season-high 408 yards in their road win, seeing their 29th-ranked passing attack produce 320 yards.

Eagles Sign DT Ndamukong Suh

In rather swiftly developing news, the Eagles are loading up on their defensive front. Minutes after news emerged indicating the NFC East leaders were in talks with Ndamukong Suh, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports the parties have a deal in place (Twitter link). The Eagles have announced the agreement.

This is a one-year deal for Suh, who has been a free agent since his Buccaneers contract expired in March. The Eagles have now added Suh and Linval Joseph to their interior D-line corps over the past two days. Suh placed the Eagles atop his destination list recently, Mike Garafolo of NFL.com tweets, and the 8-1 team will pounce to add one of the most durable players in NFL history.

It is not exactly common for players of Suh’s caliber to sit in free agency until mid-November, but the former No. 2 overall pick saw the Bucs move on without him this offseason.. Both the Raiders and Browns were linked to Suh, but subsequent reports did well to shoot down those teams’ interest. After an unusual year for the All-Decade-teamer, he will land with a Super Bowl contender armed with one of the deeper D-lines you’ll see.

Suh is now 35, and he has drifted off the Pro Bowl level. While the former Lions All-Pro has not been honored with a Pro Bowl nod since his second Dolphins season (2016), he has continued to produce. The five-time Pro Bowler played a key role for the Bucs’ Super Bowl LV-winning team two seasons ago and is coming off back-to-back six-sack seasons.

The inside pass rusher totaled 1.5 sacks during Tampa Bay’s 2020 postseason run, joining teammates Shaquil Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul in hounding Patrick Mahomes during that home-site romp. In his most recent game — a divisional-round clash with the Rams — Suh hit Matthew Stafford four times and forced a fumble to help the Bucs erase a 24-point deficit. For his career, Suh has 70.5 sacks and 130 tackles for loss.

During his prime, the menacing defender posed as one of the most difficult blocking assignments of this era. While the former Lions, Dolphins, Rams and Bucs lineman is a bit past that point in his career, he has displayed incredible durability for his lot of employers. Suh has started 191 career games and has never missed one due to injury. In Suh and Joseph, 34, the Eagles now have two of the most experienced D-tackles in NFL annals. Joseph ranks in the top 30 all time for starts (162) by a defensive tackle; Suh’s start total slots 24th in NFL history for all D-linemen.

The Eagles’ defensive line corps now houses an astonishing number of accomplished veterans. Philly rosters Brandon Graham, Haason Reddick, Josh Sweat and Robert Quinn on the edge and now has Suh, Joseph, Fletcher Cox and Javon Hargrave inside. (Derek Barnett is also on Philadelphia’s payroll, but the former first-round D-end is out for the season.) This gives DC Jonathan Gannon considerable options, even without first-rounder Jordan Davis available.

Davis’ return will give the Birds one of the highest-profile D-tackle crews in modern NFL history. Of course, this could also be classified as an aging D-line. Five of members of this reconfigured front are at least 31, but Suh and Joseph will give the Eagles a chance to rotate more up front. Cox played 70 snaps against the Commanders on Monday.

Joseph and Suh will join an Eagles team that has seen its run defense slip in recent weeks. Davis’ absence has hurt Philly’s capabilities in this area. The Texans totaled 168 rushing yards in Week 9, while the Commanders racked up 152 — on a whopping 49 carries — on Monday. It will be interesting to see how quickly both newcomers will be ready to suit up. Davis cannot return until Week 13.

Colts LB Shaquille Leonard Undergoes Season-Ending Surgery

Shaquille Leonard underwent a second back surgery this year, going under the knife Tuesday morning. This procedure will knock him out for the rest of the season, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (on Twitter).

The Colts placed the three-time All-Pro on IR last week, after he endured a setback with the injury that has defined his year. Leonard will attempt to complete a successful recovery and return to his top form by the 2023 season.

This news will wrap Leonard’s 2022 season after three games. Leonard played through this back issue in 2021, a season in which he led the league with eight forced fumbles and secured his third first-team All-Pro honor. But he underwent surgery early this summer. That operation was not believed to threaten Leonard’s Week 1 availability, but he did not debut until Week 4. The cornerstone Colts linebacker will have more time to recovery from his latest procedure.

Even after Leonard returned to the field this season, other injury issues plagued him. The former Division I-FCS standout suffered a concussion and a nose injury this season; he ended up undergoing surgery to repair the nose issue last month. His 2022 slate closes with 11 tackles, a pass deflection and an interception. Leonard, 27, never received a full complement of snaps in a game this season; he ended up seeing action on just 74 defensive snaps in 2022.

The Colts have managed to stay near the top of the league defensively despite Leonard’s absence. Gus Bradley‘s unit ranks fourth in total defense this season. The previous four Colts defenses have benefited greatly from Leonard’s presence. Becoming one of the league’s best defensive players, Leonard already has 17 career forced fumbles, 15 career sacks and 12 career picks. The production from 2018-20 secured Leonard a five-year, $98.5MM extension. That deal remains the highwater mark among off-ball linebackers.

It will be interesting to see how Leonard’s supporting cast looks when he is healthy enough to play again. Bobby Okereke may be in the process of pricing himself out of a second Colts contract. The former third-round pick has followed up a 132-tackle 2021 with 86 stops through 10 games this season. Pro Football Focus ranks Okereke and E.J. Speed as top-10 linebackers this season. Okereke and Speed are eligible for free agency in March. The Colts took care of former Zaire Franklin — a former seventh-round pick who has been a full-time player for this Indianapolis edition — this past offseason.

D.C. Attorney General Sues Dan Snyder, Commanders, NFL

Still amid multiple investigations, the Commanders are now being sued. The office of D.C. Attorney General Karl Racine announced Thursday it has filed a lawsuit against Dan Snyder, the Commanders, the NFL and Roger Goodell (Twitter link).

This is a consumer protection lawsuit, according to Mark Maske and Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post, accusing Snyder and his franchise of, in pursuit of revenue, “colluding to deceive and mislead customers” about the investigation into the team’s workplace culture.

Snyder and his franchise remain the subject of three investigations — from the House Oversight Committee, the NFL and the office of Virginia’s attorney general. Racine’s lawsuit will also seek to have the findings of the NFL’s previous investigation — a Beth Wilkinson-run probe that, at the league’s request, did not produce a written report — public, according to the Washington Post.

Faced with public outrage over detailed and widespread allegations of sexual misconduct and a persistently hostile work environment at the Team, Defendants made a series of public statements to convince District consumers that this dysfunctional and misogynistic conduct was limited and that they were fully cooperating with an independent investigation,” the lawsuit reads. “These statements were false and calculated to mislead consumers so they would continue to support the Team financially without thinking that they were supporting such misconduct.”

Racine’s term in office ends Jan. 2, but he believes the case will move forward. His office plans to issue subpoenas, per Jhabvala (Twitter links). Subpoenas emerged in the Oversight Committee’s investigation, but Snyder evaded testimony for weeks. Eventually, the embattled owner did testify but did so remotely and without being under oath. Those circumstances allowed Snyder to bypass certain questions during that hearing. Goodell also testified before the Oversight Committee this summer, doing so before Snyder.

Repeated allegations of toxic workplace culture and financial impropriety led to this latest batch of trouble for Snyder. He and other team executives have been accused of withholding ticket revenue from opposing teams and keeping refundable deposits from fans. The Committee also accused Snyder’s franchise of dishonesty with the NFL regarding sharable revenue. A former employee, testifying to the Committee, indicated Washington had two separate books — one with the full figures and another with underreported ticket revenue. Regarding ticket revenue, Grant Paulson of 106.7 The Fan tweets the team has sent a letter to various season-ticket holders — some from the not-so-recent past — indicating the team owes a balance to certain fans.

This endless spree of trouble has led to the threat of owners voting to remove Snyder from his 23-year ownership post, which would be an NFL first. It is uncertain if there are 24 owners willing to vote Snyder out, but some likely would. Jim Irsay indicated 24 removal votes could be there, with the Colts owner speaking out after an ESPN report indicated Snyder had conducted shadow investigations of select other owners. Snyder later denied that charge.

The prospect of owners assembling votes against Snyder hovered over the Commanders owner for much of 2022. However, Snyder has since begun the process of exploring a Commanders sale. After defiantly indicating he would never sell the team, Snyder is believed to be seeking a $7 billion sum for the franchise. That would surpass the Broncos’ 4.65 billion haul fetched this summer. The Broncos’ price more than doubled the previous NFL record. Several prospective buyers have emerged.

Regardless of a sale, Snyder remains in hot water. No timelines exist regarding the completion of the three investigations. As of now, the owner is believed to be operating without restrictions in his ownership role. Wilkinson’s investigation previously led to a de facto suspension, but that is believed to be over.

Raiders Waive S Johnathan Abram

The Raiders dangled Johnathan Abram in trades leading up to last week’s deadline, and they are now moving on from the former first-round pick.

Las Vegas plans to cut Abram on Tuesday, Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. The veteran starter, whom the Raiders recently demoted, will be available on waivers. Abram has made 34 career starts, but the Jon Gruden-era draftee was unable to carve out a spot as a long-term Raiders piece. Just more than $1MM in base salary remains on Abram’s rookie contract. The Raiders have since announced the move.

Trades of Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper gave the Raiders three first-round picks in 2019. The team selected Josh Jacobs with the Mack-produced draft slot and landed Abram with the Cooper-obtained pick. The Bears and Cowboys, respectively, gave the trade acquisitions second contracts. The Raiders did not pick up Abram or Jacobs’ fifth-year options. The first pick from the first Gruden-Mike Mayock draft, Clelin Ferrell, is also playing out his rookie contract after never gaining a foothold as a viable starter.

The Raiders shopped both Abram and Ferrell before the deadline, but no takers emerged. Despite being on Las Vegas’ roster bubble this offseason, Ferrell has seen a greater snap share compared to Abram in recent weeks. Abram started the Raiders’ first six games but did not open the team’s Week 8 Saints matchup in the lineup.

Abram, 26, played at least 75% of the Raiders’ defensive snaps over their first six games. The Raiders saw the former No. 27 overall pick’s rookie season nullified by a torn rotator cuff and a torn labrum. He bounced back to return to the starting lineup in 2020 and tallied 116 tackles in 2021. During his final three Raiders seasons, Abram has played in three defensive systems. The Raiders have gone from Paul Guenther to Gus Bradley to Patrick Graham as defensive coordinator over the past three seasons. The Raiders’ defense, which has struggled regardless of coordinator for most of the 21st century, ranks 28th in both points and yards allowed.

Coverage issues have plagued the Mississippi State alum as a pro. While Pro Football Focus rates Abram outside the top 75 among full-time safeties this season, the advanced metrics site has Vegas starter Trevon Moehrig slotted in the bottom five at the position. The Raiders’ Josh McDanielsDave Ziegler regime brought in ex-Patriot Duron Harmon this offseason; the veteran has worked as a full-timer at safety since arriving.

Abram’s exit during his rookie contract makes him the fourth Raider first-rounder over the past four years who failed to play out his rookie deal. The Raiders cut Henry Ruggs and Damon Arnette within a two-week period last fall, with off-field incidents leading to each’s exit. Alex Leatherwood did not make it into his second season, being waived after training camp this year. Although the Gruden era produced draft hits like Maxx Crosby and Hunter Renfrow, the first-round misses have undoubtedly set the Raiders back.