Nick Vigil

2019 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.

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 $2MM in 2019. 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 2019 courtesy of the proven performance escalator:

Bears: RB Jordan Howard, LB Nick Kwiatkoski

Bengals: LB Nick Vigil

Broncos: G Connor McGovern, S Will Parks, S Justin Simmons

Browns: S Derrick Kindred, LB Joe Schobert

Buccaneers: G Caleb Benenoch, DE Carl Nassib, CB Ryan Smith

Chargers: LB Jatavis Brown

Chiefs: CB Kendall Fuller, WR Tyreek Hill, S Eric Murray, WR Demarcus Robinson

Colts: QB Jacoby Brissett, T Joe Haeg

Cowboys: CB Anthony Brown, DT Maliek Collins, QB Dak Prescott

Dolphins: RB Kenyan Drake

Eagles: CB Jalen Mills, T Halapoulivaati Vaitai

Falcons: LB De’Vondre Campbell, TE Austin Hooper, G Wes Schweitzer

Jaguars: DE Yannick Ngakoue

Jets: LB Jordan Jenkins, CB Rashard Robinson, T Brandon Shell

Lions: C Graham Glasgow

Packers: LB Kyler Fackrell, DE Dean Lowry, LB Blake Martinez, LB Antonio Morrison

Patriots: G Joe Thuney, LB Elandon Roberts

Rams: G Austin Blythe, TE Tyler Higbee

Ravens: DE Matt Judon, OL Alex Lewis, CB Tavon Young

Saints: DT David Onyemata

Steelers: DT Javon Hargrave

Texans: DT D.J. Reader

Titans: S Kevin Byard, WR Tajae Sharpe was essential in the creation of this post. Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images. 

Bengals LB Nick Vigil To Miss Time

Bengals linebacker Nick Vigil suffered a sprained MCL against the Steelers on Sunday and will be sidelined for roughly a month, according to Ian Rapoport of (Twitter link).

Vigil, a third-round pick in 2016, started 11 games for the Bengals in 2017 before ankle and back injuries landed him on injured reserve. His most recent health issue doesn’t figure to shelve him for the season, but it does sound like Cincinnati will be without one its starters for the next four weeks, during which the club will face the Chiefs, Buccaneers, and Saints with a bye mixed in during Week 9.

With Vigil out, the Bengals deployed backup Vincent Rey in his place against Pittsburgh. Rey figures to see the bulk of playing time with Vigil on the mend, and the 118-game veteran boasts plenty of experience on fill-in duty. Other linebackers such as Jordan Evans, Hardy Nickerson, and rookie Malik Jefferson (who has thus far played only special teams) could see more snaps alongside starters Vontaze Burfict and Preston Brown.

Vigil had been in the midst of his best season as a pro, as Pro Football Focus currently ranks him as the NFL’s 22nd-best linebacker. In six games, Vigil had managed 51 tackles plus two passes defensed.

Minor NFL Transactions: 12/22/17

Here are today’s minor moves across the NFL:

Cincinnati Bengals

  • Placed on IR: LB Nick Vigil
  • Promoted from PS: OT Kent Perkins

Green Bay Packers

Oakland Raiders

Washington Redskins

  • Promoted: RB Dare Ogunbowale


Today’s practice squad updates:

Arizona Cardinals

NFL Practice Squad Updates: 10/31/17

Today’s practice squad updates:

Baltimore Ravens

Buffalo Bills

Carolina Panthers

Detroit Lions

  • Released: T Storm Norton

Minnesota Vikings

New York Giants

Washington Redskins

Impact Rookies: Cincinnati Bengals

The old adage that defense wins championships may or may not be true, but you’ll be hard-pressed to find a title-winning team that didn’t build heavily through the draft. Rookie classes, naturally, are evaluated on the perceived upside of the NFL newcomers, but which rookies are ready to contribute right out of the gate? And, how do they fit in with their new team schematically?

To help us forecast the immediate future of these NFL neophytes, we enlisted the help of draft guru Dave-Te Thomas who has served as a scouting personnel consultant to NFL teams for multiple decades.

Today, we continue PFR’s Impact Rookie series with his insight on the Cincinnati Bengals’ draft class:

The Bengals are soon to reap the benefits from another solid draft, as the first four selections in 2016 all appear to be of starting quality. Their cache from the 2015 draft saw all ten of those selections play for the team last year. They were so impressed with one of their late round finds, that the team let go several key pieces in their secondary to bring fresh legs into the fold. Now, all seven of their draft picks in 2016 have the same opportunity as the previous draft class to claim roster spots.

First Round – William Jackson III, CB (Houston, No. 24)

The Bengals let Leon Hall walk in order to keep Adam Jones, as the right cornerback signed a three-year deal that keeps him in the fold until 2019. The team will make a strong effort to keep Dre Kirkpatrick around as the left cornerback, but he is a free agent after the season and might be in line for a big deal if he can improve upon his 2015 performance. William Jackson III (vertical)

In 2015, the Bengals covered their potential loss of Andre Smith by drafting two tackles. This year, the Bengals tapped William Jackson III as insurance against Kirkpatrick’s possible departure. If Kirkpatrick goes, then Jackson and 2014 first-round pick Darqueze Dennard will be counted upon to lead the secondary in 2017 and beyond.

Jackson was considered a “lockdown corner” for the Houston Cougars after he appeared in thirteen games and finished second in the American Athletic Conference with ten pass breakups in 2014. He also picked off two passes and tallied 37 tackles. Last season, the All-American led the nation and set a Houston single-season record with 23 pass deflections. He also led the nation in passes defended with 28, finishing 20th with five interceptions. He concluded his career ranked third on the UH career passes broken up chart with 40, despite only playing three seasons.

Some other “good news” numbers include Jackson recording six turnovers and coming up with 22 third-down stops. On the “bad news” scale, while he defended so many passes, it could be due to quarterbacks constantly throwing into his area. The Cougar was targeted 93 times in 2016, allowing 41 receptions (44.09%) for 460 yards, an average of 11.22 yards per grab, with receivers totaling seven big plays (20 yards or longer) and twenty first downs vs. the defender, reaching the end zone three times. In run support, he made just five tackles.

Jackson is certainly not going to impress you with being a great physical presence on the field, but he does demonstrate excellent speed (4.37 in the 40-yard dash) and jump- ball timing. He is very consistent in being “getting into the face” of a receiver. He opens his hips well when asked to handle switch-offs on deep patterns and moves well in space, but he certainly lacks any sort of punch and physicality when required to deliver press coverage (recorded ten reps in the 225-pound bench press drill). His leaping ability helps him get to most balls though and he always seems to get his hands on the pigskin, even when he isn’t in great position.

Jackson fails to sink his hips low enough or explode into his hits when asked to wrap and tackle in run support. Still, as a pass defender, his timing is impeccable, evident by his nation-leading 28 passes defended that included five interceptions in 2015.

Read more about the Bengals’ 2016 rookie class..

Read more

Draft Pick Signings: Lions, Panthers, Bengals

More than 100 of the 253 draftees from this year’s class have already signed their rookie contracts, and several more are making it official with their respective teams today. Here are the latest draft pick signings from around the NFL:

  • The Lions formally announced today that they’ve signed second-round defensive tackle A’Shawn Robinson, who was the 46th overall pick. Detroit had previously locked up its other nine draftees, so the team has now secured its entire 10-man draft class, becoming the third club to do so — Atlanta and Seattle have also finished signing their draft picks.
  • The Panthers have signed their third draftee, confirming today that they’ve got third-round cornerback Daryl Worley under contract. Worley’s four-year deal figures to be worth $3.123MM, with a $783K signing bonus, per Over the Cap. Carolina now needs to sign just two more draft picks, including first-round defensive tackle Vernon Butler.
  • Linebacker Nick Vigil, selected 87th overall, has formally signed his rookie contract with the Bengals, according to the team (Twitter link). Third-round picks like Vigil can sometimes take a little longer to sign, as agents and teams discuss cash flow and guaranteed money, but the Utah State product becomes the third Bengals draftee to finalize his rookie deal.

Draft Notes: S. Davis, J. Smith, K. Joseph

Maryland corner Sean Davis is attracting a ton of interest around the league, according to Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post, who writes that Davis has met or will meet with 16 clubs, including the Texans, Cowboys, Saints, Cardinals, Dolphins, Lions, Browns, Colts, Seahawks, Ravens, Washington, Raiders, 49ers, Steelers, Bengals, Bills, and Titans. Wilson also confirms previous reports that Davis has met with the Patriots and Ravens.

Let’s dive into the latest draft news…

  • Notre Dame linebacker Jaylon Smith has started running again, which is a good sign as he recovers from his ACL injury, tweets Gil Brandt of Smith, once a surefire top-15 pick, but with some clubs now reportedly worried about possible nerve damage, Smith could be in danger of tumbling down the board.
  • Like Smith, West Virginia safety Karl Joseph is also recovering from a torn ACL, and he won’t be able to run before the draft, per Brandt (Twitter link). But Joseph, who suffered his injury in early October, should be ready to go by training camp.
  • In a piece for the Houston Chronicle, Wilson reports that Oklahoma State defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah was the highest-rated prospect to participate in the Texans‘ local prospect workout on Saturday morning. University of Houston linebacker Elandon Roberts was also in attendance, and has also met with the Steelers, per Wilson. The lengthy list of attendees is available via the link.
  • Georgia Southern safety Antonio Glover met with the Lions and Titans after his Wednesday pro day, and was scheduled to fly to Indianapolis to meet with the Colts, according to Tony Pauline of
  • The Browns and Bears have spent a “significant amount of time” with Utah State linebacker Nick Vigil, who will also take a meeting with the Falcons, per Pauline. Vigil’s teammate, defensive tackle David Moala, met with the Browns and Chiefs.

South Notes: Jaguars, Thompson, Saints, Bucs

Ohio State edge rusher Joey Bosa is among the players visiting the Jaguars today, according to John Oehser of (via Twitter). However, Bosa is far from the only marquee prospect in town to meet with the Jags.

Mark Long of The Associated Press tweets that Florida cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III is also making a visit to Jacksonville, while Ian Rapoport of (Twitter link) adds several more names to the team’s list of pre-draft visitors. Some of the prospects listed by Rapoport were previously reported, but it’s an impressive group, one that includes Notre Dame tackle Ronnie Stanley and Ohio State cornerback Eli Apple.

As Jacksonville mulls its draft options, let’s round up a few more items from out of the NFL’s South divisions…

  • The Colts and Falcons are taking a long look at Boise State safety Darian Thompson, Rand Getlin of tweets. As previously reported, Atlanta had multiple members of its front office out at Thompson’s Pro Day.
  • Utah State linebacker Nick Vigil will visit the Saints, a source tells Nick Underhill of The Advocate (on Twitter).
  • Former University of Miami cornerback Artie Burns is in Tampa today visiting the Buccaneers, Jenna Laine of Sports Talk 1040 The Team tweets.

Luke Adams contributed to this post.

Sunday Roundup: Wood, Burfict, Koetter

As the Vikings and Seahawks do battle in frigid Minneapolis, let’s take a look at some links from around the league:

  • New Lions president Rod Wood admits to not having any football experience, but no one was especially concerned about that, as Wood is expected to handle the business side of the club while new GM Bob Quinn will handle the football side. But as Kyle Meinke of writes, Detroit’s press release announcing Quinn’s hire noted that Quinn would report to team ownership and to Wood, which suggests that Wood could be wielding more power than initially believed.
  • Unsurprisingly, Bengals LB Vontaze Burfict is facing a suspension for his hit on Antonio Brown last night, per ESPN’s Adam Schefter (via Twitter).
  • ESPN’s Ed Werder believes it is “unlikely” that the Bengals will part ways with head coach Marvin Lewis (Twitter link), and Mark Maske of the Washington Post lays out the reasons for his belief that Lewis should stay.
  • Bob McGinn of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel believes the Packers‘ efforts this season have been hampered by GM Ted Thompson‘s lack of in-season roster moves to address the team’s weaknesses. Since 2010, Green Bay has been awarded just two players on waivers, and Thompson has gone to the practice squad 70% of the time to fill vacancies on the 53-man roster.
  • Roy Cummings of the Tampa Tribune tweets that Dirk Koetter is still the leading candidate for the Buccaneers‘ head coaching job, though Rick Stroud of the Tampa Bay Times tweets that Koetter “really impressed” the 49ers during his interview with San Francisco yesterday. Tampa Bay also interviewed Panthers DC Sean McDermott yesterday.
  • Gus Bradley is taking his time with the Jaguars‘ search for a new defensive coordinator and has yet to establish a deadline for the decision, according to Ryan O’Halloran of the Florida-Times Union.
  • Texans unrestricted free agents Ben Jones and Jared Crick both expressed their desire to remain in Houston, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (via Twitter).
  • Meanwhile, two notable players have declared that they will enter the NFL draft: Arkansas RB Alex Collins (Twitter link via ESPN’s Joe Schad) and Utah State LB Nick Vigil (Twitter link via Tony Pauline of