Nick Vigil

Vikings To Sign LB Nick Vigil

Nick Vigil is joining the Vikings.’s Tom Pelissero reports (via Twitter) that the free agent linebacker is signing with Minnesota. It will be a one-year deal that includes $1MM in guaranteed money. Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press tweets that the deal is worth $1.75MM, and that total could increase to as much as $2.3MM.

The 2016 third-round pick out of Utah State spent the first four seasons of his career with the Bengals, including a 2019 campaign where he started 16 games and compiled a career-high 111 tackles. Vigil had to settle for a one-year deal with the Chargers last offseason, and he also had to settle into more of a backup role with his new team. The 27-year-old ultimately started only two of his 15 games in 2020, finishing with 50 tackles and a pair of sacks.

In Minnesota, Vigil will be reunited with senior defensive assistant Paul Guenther; the veteran coach was the Bengals defensive coordinator during Vigil’s first two seasons in the NFL. This is the second notable linebacker move the Vikings have made today; the team also made major adjustments to Anthony Barr‘s contract.

Contract Details: Funchess, Packers, Bell, Bengals, Vigil, Chargers

A few more recent contract figures to pass along:

  • Devin Funchess, WR (Packers): One year, $2.5MM. The $2.5MM is a far cry from the one-year, $10MM deal he got from the Colts last offseason. He got a $1MM signing bonus, $1.2MM base salary, and an extra couple hundred thousand in workout and roster bonuses. He has another $3.75MM in incentives available (via Tom Pelissero of NFL Network).
  • Vonn Bell, S (Bengals): Three years, $18MM. Bell got a $3MM signing bonus, with a $3MM base salary in 2020 and $1MM reporting bonus. He has base salaries of $4.1MM and $6.1MM in 2021 and 2022 respectively, with $400K in roster and workout bonuses in each of those years (via Albert Breer of
  • Nick Vigil, LB (Chargers): One year, $2.4MM. Vigil had to settle for a prove-it deal despite starting 16 games for the Bengals last year. He got a $500K signing bonus, $1.9MM base salary, and can earn an additional $600K in playing-time incentives.


Contract Details: Anderson, Pennel, Alexander

A handful of contract details to pass along:

Chargers To Sign LB Nick Vigil

The Chargers have agreed to sign free agent LB Nick Vigil, per NFL Insider Adam Caplan (via Twitter). Ben Baby of tweets that it’s a one-year deal. Vigil was selected by the Bengals in the third round of the 2016 draft and spent the first four years of his career with Cincinnati.

The Utah State turned in a productive platform year in 2019, starting in all 16 games and recording 111 tackles while playing virtually all of the Bengals’ defensive snaps. Advanced metrics were not overly fond of his work, ranking him as the 42nd-best linebacker out of 58 players who played in at least half of his team’s snaps.

But Vigil will not turn 27 until August, and a short-term pact on a fairly young ‘backer with plenty of starting experience and tackling ability makes sense for the Chargers. Indeed, the division-rival Raiders were said to be interested in Vigil before filling their LB needs elsewhere.

Vigil represents the third significant addition to the Bolts’ defense since the start of free agency, joining Linval Joseph and Chris Harris. He becomes part of a LB corps that includes the oft-injured Denzel Perryman and unproven youngsters Uchenna Nwosu and Malik Jefferson, so he is in line to see plenty of action.

AFC West Notes: Mahomes, Broncos, Raiders

Everyone has known for a while now that when Patrick Mahomes signs his first contract extension, it’s going to involve some eye-popping numbers. The Chiefs are expected to pursue an extension sometime after the draft, and there has been a lot of chatter about Mahomes becoming the first player to eclipse $40MM in annual salary. While he wouldn’t get into specifics about negotiations, Mahomes made it clear in a recent interview with Terez Paylor of Yahoo Sports that he’s in Kansas City for the long haul. “I want to make sure I do it the smart way and do it the right way, and so I don’t know exactly which way that is, yet. I know that my people and the Chiefs’ people will talk about it, and will do it at the right time and for the betterment for the team. But I’m excited to be a Kansas City Chief for a very long time, and I know that’s going to be handled the right way because of the people the Kansas City Chiefs have in their organization,” he explained.

There has been some speculation the Chiefs will try to get him on somewhat of a team-friendly deal in order to spread their cap resources around, similarly to what the Patriots have done with Tom Brady. Mahomes is going to get paid big-time either way, but he did seem to indicate that keeping their core together is a priority for him. “Whichever way possible, we’re going to do it and we’re gonna try to keep as many people on this team as we possibly can that won the Super Bowl this year so we can run it back again next year,” he said.

Here’s more from the AFC West:

  • Speaking of the Chiefs, they made a couple of assistant coaching moves today. Quarterbacks coach Mike Kafka has been given the additional title of passing game coordinator, and the team hired Andy Hill as a special teams assistant. The Eagles were interested in Kafka for their offensive coordinator vacancy, but Kansas City was ultimately able to retain him. All the way back in October we heard that Kafka was well-respected in the league and considered by some to be a future head coach. The former backup quarterback is the latest in a long line of Andy Reid assistants to get buzz.
  • The Broncos have a crowded backfield, but it’s about to get a little thinner. Both Devontae Booker and Theo Riddick will be allowed to walk in free agency, sources told Mike Klis of Denver 9 News (Twitter link). Booker was drafted by Denver in the fourth-round back in 2016, and had an up and down career with the team. He was the team’s starter for some of his rookie season, and he often played a big role on passing downs. At the same time, he was often relegated to the bench for extended stretches. 27 now, it’ll be interesting to see how his market develops. Riddick is another passing-downs specialist who signed with Denver this past summer after a productive six-year run with the Lions. He ended up missing the entire season with a shoulder injury, although Klis notes that he is healthy now and has been medically cleared. He’s 28 now, and will likely have a tough time finding much guaranteed money coming off the injury.
  • The Raiders are believed to be interested in signing linebacker Nick Vigil, sources told Adam Caplan of Sirius XM NFL Radio and Vigil, an impending free agent, spent the first four years of his career with the Bengals. He started all 16 games for Cincy this past season, racking up 111 tackles and five passes defended. Vigil will likely be seeking a decent-sized contract, and he should have a relatively strong market. Raiders defensive coordinator Paul Guenther coached Vigil in Cincinnati, so there’s a lot of familiarity between the two sides.

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..

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