Zach Miller (Arizona St.)

Extra Points: Spiller, Scherff, Lanning, Giants

C.J. Spiller became the latest key performer to have an injury end his preseason and potentially put the start of his regular season in doubt.

The Saints‘ presumed passing-down back underwent arthroscopic knee surgery Friday but is expected to make his Saints debut in Week 1, according to Adam Schefter of, on Twitter.

Spiller, who did not play in the Saints’ initial preseason game, joins Zach Ertz, Julius Thomas and Jonathan Cyprien among the contingent that’s seen injuries make August a rehabilitation month.

Here are a few other items from around the league, beginning in Washington.

  • No. 5 overall pick Brandon Scherff may no longer play a position worthy of that kind of draft expense, with Washington coach Jay Gruden noting the Iowa product’s future will be at guard, per the Washington Post’s Mike Jones (on Twitter). Scherff’s currently slotted at right guard on Washington’s depth chart to accommodate 2014 third-rounder Morgan Moses, who sits atop the right tackle pecking order despite starting just one game last year. Gruden told media, including Jones (Twitter link), Scherff’s permanent move inside is due to Moses’ progression, not the decorated rookie’s inability to stick at right tackle.
  • Jones also points out Zach Miller isn’t a realistic option for Washington’s tight end crisis, with the former Raiders and Seahawks starter still not fully recovered from the ankle injury that ended his 2014 season (Twitter link).
  • Tom Coughlin confirmed Mykkele Thompson‘s Achilles’ tendon tear and noted higher-profile Giants rookie safety Landon Collins has a sprained MCL, per’s Jordan Raanan. Collins is expected back by Week 1 but will probably miss most of the preseason, according to Ralph Vacchiano of the New York Daily News (via Twitter). Vacchiano, on Twitter, also offers that Collins being back for the start of the Giants’ season isn’t a lock, with the recovery time for MCL sprains being 2-6 weeks.
  • Vying for the Broncos‘ kicker job after each had it for parts of last season, Brandon McManus and Connor Barth combined to go 5-for-5 in field goals Friday night, but Mike Klis of 9News notes that the Denver kicking competition now includes Spencer Lanning, should the team opt to go with one kicker and Lanning as a punter/kickoff specialist. The Browns’ punter before June’s Andy Lee trade, Lanning also poses a threat to longtime punter Britton Colquitt, who seemed safe after agreeing to reduce his salary by $1.4MM earlier this month.
  • Fifth-year outside linebacker Gabe Miller will work out for the Browns, tweets Adam Caplan of A fifth-round pick of the Chiefs in 2011, Miller’s only played in seven games in four years, each coming last season with Washington.

NFC Notes: Davis, Ertz, Giants, Cowboys

Here is some of the latest news emerging from NFC franchises.

  • Anthony Davis is already teasing a comeback, per his Twitter account. According to Matt Maiocco of, Davis plans to return to the NFL for the 2016 campaign. The 49ers hold his rights for the next five seasons due to the contract extension the 25-year-old right tackle signed in 2013.
  • Last night, we heard Zach Ertz will miss the preseason after undergoing surgery, but Les Bowen of the Philadelphia Daily News wonders if Chip Kelly expecting him back for Week 1 is realistic. Bowen, who notes the injury is believed to be a partial groin tear, remains skeptical Ertz will be up to speed by the time the Eagles debut Sept. 14. Ertz told Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Enquirer (Twitter link) his groin bothered him for a while and he reinjured it Wednesday.
  • Byron Maxwell will shadow No. 1 receivers this season with the Eagles, and it’s a chance to give the team an elite cornerback for the first time in years, writes Reuben Frank of “I was on the right in Seattle, but it’s an opportunity, and I’m looking forward to it; I really am,” Maxwell told Frank. “Once you start following guys, your name is up there, so that’s how I’m looking at it.
  • In light of the Giantsaccelerating injury rate in the secondary, they will likely explore adding cornerbacks to patch the corps together, Jordan Raanan writes (on Twitter). In addition to the four players lost to injuries Friday night, Prince Amukamara remains sidelined for the coming weeks with a groin malady.
  • Washington trading for Vernon Davis is not an option in an effort to repair their ransacked tight end contingent, writes’s John Keim. The ESPN Washington-based reporter also points out he’s been told Zach Miller will not be in the team’s plans for this fix. PFR’s Luke Adams profiled Washington’s quandary at tight end, which stems from Niles Paul being lost for the season, recently.
  • The Cowboys are working out three running backs — Michael Hill, Ben Malena and Zach Bauman — with top ball-carriers Joseph Randle and Lance Dunbar limited with injuries, reports Todd Archer of Of this trio, only Hill, a journeyman who was the runner-up for the Harlon Hill Trophy (Division II’s Heisman equivalent) in 2012, has seen regular-season game action. Washington waived him last month.

NFC Notes: Shembo, Washington, Packers

The Falcons cut linebacker Prince Shembo earlier in the offseason when he was facing felony charges in an animal cruelty case. Now that he has pleaded those charges down to a misdemeanor and resolved the case, Shembo may land on Atlanta’s radar again, says D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

“I’m sure that we will [discuss Shembo], but general manager Thomas [Dimitroff] and I have not gotten together on that, at this point,” Falcons head coach Dan Quinn said.

As Darin Gantt of Pro Football Talk observes, you can make an on-field case for the Falcons re-signing Shembo, a former fourth-round pick. However, considering the linebacker admitted to killing his ex-girlfriend’s dog and was also investigated but not charged at Notre Dame with sexual assault of a woman who later committed suicide, Shembo may not be worth the trouble. He’ll also likely be facing NFL discipline for running afoul of the league’s personal conduct policy.

Here are several more Friday notes from across the NFC:

  • Niles Paul and Logan Paulsen may both be out for the year for Washington, but the team isn’t eyeing free agent tight end Zach Miller, according to John Keim of (via Twitter).
  • While many of their rivals around the league get impatient and pursue high-priced free agents to fill holes, the Packers have continued to “draft, develop, and reinvest,” writes Field Yates of in his Insider-only look at how Green Bay built its current roster.
  • Several days after the Lions made DeAndre Levy the highest-paid 4-3 outside linebacker in the league, Lavonte David signed an even bigger deal with the Buccaneers to set the new standard at the position. Jason Fitzgerald of Over the Cap takes a closer look at how the two contracts stack up against to one another, throwing in Bobby Wagner‘s new extension with the Seahawks as a point of comparison.
  • With Jimmy Graham no longer in the mix in New Orleans, the Saints will need a player – or a combination of players – to step up and provide help for quarterback Drew Brees this year, writes Zolan V Kanno-Youngs of USA Today.

AFC Mailbags: Jets, Ravens, Bengals, Jags

We took a look at’s NFC mailbags earlier this morning. Let’s now switch our focus over to the AFC…

  • When asked about the opportunity for the Jets to add a veteran quarterback, Rich Cimini said he’d eagerly swap the sixth pick for Chargers‘ star Philip Rivers.
  • Meanwhile, Cimini believes there’s a good chance the Jets will select a running back in the draft. With Bilal Powell, Chris Ivory and Daryl Richardson under contract, the writer says the team could use a versatile, pass-catching back.
  • Jamison Hensley predicts the Ravens will either select a wide receiver, tight end, cornerback or pass rusher with their first-round pick.
  • Hensley says the Ravens could look to bring in a veteran tight end. When asked about former Seahawks weapon Zach Miller, the writer says the organization should be wary of the injury risk. For an “under-the-radar” pick, Hensley points to Cardinals tight end Rob Housler.
  • Quarterback Jason Campbell and running back Cedric Peerman are “the most likely” of the Bengals free agents to return, according to Coley Harvey.
  • If the Jaguars don’t select a pass rusher with their first-round pick, Michael DiRocco could envision the team selecting a wide receiver. Looking towards veteran help at the position, DiRocco suggests Greg Jennings as an option.

Seahawks Release Zach Miller

5:06pm: In addition to releasing Miller, the Seahawks announced (via Twitter) that they waived offensive tackle Garrett Scott and defensive tackle Jesse Williams, and signed defensive end Greg Scruggs.

4:54pm: The Seahawks have released tight end Zach Miller, according to Field Yates of (on Twitter). It’s been a busy day for the Seahawks, who also reached agreement with star running back Marshawn Lynch on a new deal earlier today.

Miller signed a $34MM contract with the Seahawks in August of 2011 and he renegotiated his deal roughly one year ago to remain on the team. He agreed to a $3MM pay cut in 2014 and a $2MM pay cut in 2015, but that apparently wasn’t enough to keep his spot in Seattle. Miller would have been a $4MM cap hit in 2015 and, as Terry Blount of (on Twitter) notes, dropping him helps offset the difference in Lynch’s bump from $7MM to $11MM next season.

Miller, a former Pro Bowler, was with the Seahawks since 2011, catching 102 balls over that span and serving as the club’s top tight end. His 2014 campaign officially ended in November when he was placed on injured reserve, but he was out of action ever since undergoing an ankle procedure following the team’s Week 3 game.

It’s possible that the release of Miller could be the start of something bigger in Seattle. On Friday, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk mentioned the Seahawks as a dark horse candidate for free agent Broncos tight end Julius Thomas.

Seahawks Place Zach Miller On IR

The Seahawks are placing veteran tight end Zach Miller on injured reserve, ending his season, head coach Pete Carroll confirmed today to reporters, including Bob Condotta of the Seattle Times (Twitter link). Miller underwent a procedure on his ankle following the team’s Week 3 game and has been sidelined since then, despite remaining on the active roster until now. He’ll have to undergo a second surgery, Carroll indicated today.

Miller, a former Pro Bowler, has been with the Seahawks since 2011, catching 102 balls over that span and serving as the club’s top tight end. He accepted a pay cut earlier this year, restructuring his deal to reduce his 2014 and 2015 base salaries. While that move saved his roster spot this season, it’s not clear whether he remains in Seattle’s plans beyond this year.

In Miller’s absence, Luke Willson, Cooper Helfet, and Tony Moeaki have been the Seahawks’ primary tight ends, and Carroll singled out Moeaki today as a player who will have to step up now that the club’s starting tight end is out for the year (Twitter link via Condotta).

The Seahawks already added another tight end to the roster earlier this week, signing Rashaun Allen from off the Vikings’ practice squad. So to replace Miller, the team has gone another direction, poaching a player from another club’s practice squad — per Condotta (via Twitter), Carroll said today that Seattle has signed linebacker Allen Bradford, who had been on the Browns’ practice squad for the majority of the season.

Trade Rumors: Thomas, V-Jax, Spiller

As we already pointed out earlier today, the Seahawks, who are in need of a tight end, reportedly asked for Browns TE Jordan Cameron in a potential Percy Harvin deal before ultimately sending Harvin to the Jets. As it turns out, Seattle aimed even higher by asking the Broncos for emerging star Julius Thomas, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter (via Twitter). Although Denver promptly rebuffed the Seahawks’ proposal, Joel Corry tweets that these tight end inquiries are not good news for Zach Miller‘s long-term prospects in Seattle. This is despite the fact that Miller has already cut $3MM and $2MM from his 2014 and 2015 salaries, respectively.

Let’s take a look at some other trade notes from around the league. Remember, the trade deadline is October 28:

  • Citing his colleague Ian Rapoport, Kevin Patra of writes that two other big-name players who are generating significant trade interest are Buccaneers‘ WR Vincent Jackson and Bills‘ RB C.J. Spiller. Rapoport says Tampa Bay is receiving a “ton of calls” on Jackson and would be open to anything. The Cowboys, meanwhile, were interested in Spiller last season, and given that Buffalo has been unable to effectively utilize his skill-set–in addition to the fact that he is in his contract year–Spiller could be on his way out of Buffalo within the week.
  • Joe Buscaglia of WGR 550 tweets that, unless Spiller accepts a “fair offer” from the Bills in the offseason, Buffalo will not re-sign him. That explains why trade talks surrounding Spiller may intensify.
  • Noting that the Patriots are “usually active” at the trade deadline, Ben Volin of the Boston Globe tweets that New England is targeting help on the offensive and defensive lines and at linebacker.
  • We learned earlier that the Bengals may deal Jermaine Gresham if the price is right.

Extra Points: DRC, Miller, Sanders, Saffold

Following up on a piece he wrote about Jets GM John Idzik‘s deliberate – and perhaps questionable – approach to free agency, Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News tweets that, after an initial low-ball offer, the Jets made an “11th hour” pitch to Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. However, the Giants had essentially locked up the free agent cornerback by that point.

Here are a few more Tuesday updates from around the NFL:

  • In a series of tweets, Tom Pelissero of USA Today breaks down the details on Zach Miller‘s pay cut with the Seahawks, which will reduce the tight end’s 2014 compensation by $3MM and his 2015 pay by $2MM.
  • After missing out on Emmanuel Sanders, the Chiefs continue to target younger wide receivers in free agency, which rules out some of the older veterans on the market, tweets Terez A. Paylor of the Kansas City Star.
  • Speaking of Sanders, his agents issued a lengthy statement suggesting that there was never an agreement in place with the Chiefs before the receiver agreed to sign with the Broncos, as Aaron Wilson of the National Football Post details.
  • In the wake of the Sanders controversy, former agent Joel Corry points out in a piece for that both agents and teams can be guilty of reneging on deals.
  • Aaron Wilson (Twitter links) passes along the specifics of the Rodger Saffold contract with the Rams, which includes a $5MM signing bonus, a $3MM roster bonus for 2015, and a $3MM guaranteed base salary in 2014. As Joel Corry tweets, the Raiders‘ decision to void their agreement with Saffold will cost the offensive lineman a significant sum.
  • Daryl Smith‘s contract with the Ravens includes a $3.5MM signing bonus, and that appears to be the only guaranteed money in the deal, as Aaron Wilson details in a pair of tweets. According to Wilson, the four-year pact can be worth up to $16.1MM, as initially reported, but it has a base value of just $13.6MM.
  • Jack Bechta of the National Football Post identifies the Colts‘ signing of Hakeem Nicks and the Buccaneers‘ deal with Alterraun Verner as two of the best bargains in free agency so far. Among our top 25 free agents of 2014, Nicks and Verner are two who will earn markedly less than I anticipated.

NFC Notes: Greenway, Melton, Miller

The Vikings have restructured Chad Greenway‘s contract, according to Jason Fitzgerald at (via Twitter). Greenway will take a $1MM pay cut in 2014 in exchange for the the club guaranteeing his $5.5MM base salary. Factoring in prorated signing bonus money, Greenway will now count $7.2MM against the cap in 2014.

In other Vikings/NFC-related news:

  • Chris Tomasson of the Pioneer Press expanded on Greenway’s restructuring here, including news of fullback Jerome Felton and safety Jamarca Sanford also reworking their deals to free up some cash. The Vikings now have just over $16MM in cap space.
  • Bears free agent defensive tackle Henry Melton is on an extended visit with the Seahawks, tweets Josina Anderson, but still plans to meet with the Cowboys if a deal doesn’t get done.
  • The Seahawks and Zach Miller have agreed to restructure his deal, enabling him to stay in Seattle for the next two years, writes Danny O’Neil of 710 ESPN Seattle. The team was prepared to cut Miller, according to’s Ian Rapoport (via Twitter).
  • Free agent kick returner Trindon Holliday is visiting with the Falcons today, according to Jason La Canfora of CBS (via Twitter).
  • Speaking of return men, free agent Devin Hester spoke with the Sun Sentinel’s Chris Perkins about free agency and claims he still has 4.38 speed.

Seahawks Notes: Tate, Bennett, Salary Cap

As the Seahawks said goodbye to receiver Sidney Rice and defensive lineman Red Bryant, they said hello to approximately $12.8MM in savings, freeing the defending Super Bowl champions to be active participants in upcoming free agency.

Bob Condotta of The Seattle Times reached out to cap expert Jason Fitzgerald of, and Fitzgerald offered a plethora of knowledge, shining light on the possible plans of GM John Schneider in the coming months.

  • According to Fitzgerald, the team will have about $17.8MM in cap room. He predicts a safe spending level between $10-10.5MM after setting aside $1.5MM for rookie draft picks and a minimum $6MM cushion.
  • Fitzgerald views tight end Zach Miller and defensive end Chris Clemons as “too expensive” on their current deals, set to earn $7.5MM and $6MM in 2014, respectively.
  • With a cap number hovering around $76MM in 2015, Fitzgerald does not envision Seattle having any problems taking care of quarterback Russell Wilson, left tackle Russell Okung, cornerback Richard Sherman and safety Earl Thomas going forward. With the exception of Okung, who has two years left on his current deal, each player is eligible for free agency next offseason.
  • Free agent Golden Tate should not be that expensive to re-sign, says Fitzgerald, likening him to Eagles receiver Riley Cooper, who just received a five-year, $25MM contract with $10MM guaranteed.
  • Defensive lineman Michael Bennett, however, “is a trickier one” because he excelled at a premium position last season in a contract year. Fitzgerald doesn’t know if the Seahawks can retain Bennett’s services if the former Texas A&M Aggie goes for a $9-10MM/year contract.