Prime Cuts

Slices of great NFL content from around the web

Von Miller says he’s ahead of schedule in return from ACL surgery

Von Miller Eager To Rush The QB With His Mentor

“I’m doing fine. I am doing great. It feels better every day,” Miller said. “I feel confident and that I will be ready to go.”
Any timetable for a return?
“It’s tricky because you feel great some days and you want to do more than what you’re really supposed to be doing,” he said. “Right now, I am ahead of where I am supposed to be.”

Of course, they all say they're ahead of schedule. But, better than saying nothing, we suppose...

Here’s why we’ve been laughing at talk of DRC signing for $6.5M-7M per year

Packers re-sign CB Sam Shields

The Green Bay Packers have re-signed cornerback Sam Shields to a four-year, $39 million deal that includes a signing bonus of $12.5 million, sources told ESPN NFL Insider Adam Schefter.

A source told Schefter that Shields will earn $30 million over the first three seasons—$15 million in the first year, $6 million in the second year, and $9 million in the third year.

FWIW, Shields graded out at +0.4 last year, while DRC was good for a +12.9 grade from PFF. Any questions?

Barnwell: Broncos could go on another shopping spree

The 10 Teams That Should Dominate Free Agency

Ideal Free-Agent Blueprint: RB Maurice Jones-Drew, WR Sidney Rice, TE Michael Hoomanawanui, G Jon Asamoah, DE Jared Allen, MLB Daryl Smith, CB Derek Cox, CB Asante Samuel, CB Cortland Finnegan, KR Devin Hester

The thing is, with how well Elway & Co. have managed the cap, they can afford to get all of these deals done while still extending young stars like Demaryius and Julius Thomas.

Corry: Look for Decker to get plenty of cash

Agent's Take: Examining key issues for Eric Decker's free agency

After examining these salary metrics, Decker should feel comfortable seeking a five-year, $52.5 million contract, with $25 million in guarantees where $34 million is in the first three years.
Even though it’s a deep wide-receiver class in the draft, it would be somewhat of a surprise if Decker’s productivity, despite his weaknesses, didn’t land him a free agent contract from a new team in excess of Mike Williams’ deal with an average over $8 million per year and more than $15 million guaranteed.

We've seen some stupid numbers thrown out there, including Mike Florio's suggestion that Denver sees Decker as a $5M/year player.

Especially given the $133M salary cap, we're thinking Decker gets something close to what Corry says his agent should be seeking.

Bowen: Stop demanding that players give hometown discounts

The Dark Side of NFL Free Agency

Hometown discounts? Forget about it. That’s fantasy land.

This game is too violent and physical, and the careers are just too short to leave cash on the table. These players should get as much money as they can before that call from the head coach comes.

As we've mentioned before, the very concept of a hometown discount is utter BS. Not only are players risking their long-term health to play this game, but those so-called "hometowns" are actually cities where players have been forced to start their careers, and at below market salaries. For these reasons and others, the concept of a draft is pretty much the most un-American thing about America's favorite sport.

Benoit: Decker and Moreno are just role guys for Denver

Buyer Beware

He’s unequivocally a No. 2 receiver who put up big numbers by playing in a Peyton Manning-led offense. If he were anything but “just a guy,” the Broncos would retain him. After all, they have almost $20 million in cap space and, with Manning nearing his end, their window is now. Other Role Flag guys include Decker’s former teammate Knowshon Moreno and Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate.

We spend all year talking about how Peyton Manning improves the play of his teammates, so there's no reason to change that tune now.

Jan Brewer does the smart (and right) thing

Arizona governor vetoes anti-gay law, clearing path for Super Bowl XLIX

Super Bowl XLIX will be played in Arizona as scheduled.

Barring, you know, a blizzard.

Arizona Governor Jan Brewer announced moments ago that she has vetoed Senate Bill 1062, which would have allowed discrimination against gay men and women by business owners under the guise of religious freedom.

When John McCain, Jeff Flake, JP Morgan Chase, American Express, and the National Football League are all telling you to veto this awful bill, it's probably best to just veto the damn thing.  The bigots are defeated (again).  They ought to get used to it.

Arizona may lose a Super Bowl for the SECOND TIME

Source: NFL begins exploring Super Bowl XLIX relocation options

The NFL moved its 1993 Super Bowl from the Phoenix area to the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., in reaction to Arizona voting down the effort to establish a state holiday in honor of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. in the fall of 1990. After the King holiday measure passed in 1992, the NFL awarded its 1996 Super Bowl to Tempe’s Sun Devil Stadium.

I live in the part of Arizona where I can literally see California from my office, but my state seems to be threatening to renew its vows as the most bassackward, bigoted state in the union.  I didn't remember that they lost the 1993 Super Bowl, but I did remember their resistance to MLK Day.  Hopefully, Governor Jan Brewer vetoes this abomination of a bill.  She's mostly awful, but has a moment of reasonability once in awhile.  The best thing I can say about her is that she's more of a corporate shill than she is a batshit insane ideologue.

It sure would be nice to be able to drive 3 hours to see the Broncos win the Super Bowl next year.

Report: Dolphins, Jaguars interested in Beadles

Combine News & Notes: Saturday

I’m told Denver Broncos guard Zane Beadles would be content testing the free agency waters if he doesn’t get a deal done with the team.  I’m also told the Jacksonville Jaguars and Miami Dolphins head the list of suitors if Beadles hits the free agent market.

Beadles may have graded out as Denver's worst lineman (by far), but four of Jacksonville's starting linemen graded worse, and collectively, they were PFF's 30th ranked line.

Meanwhile, Miami could be replacing their entire starting five, and they could certainly do worse than sign a well spoken nice guy with an engineering degree, who happens to play the same position as one Richie Incognito.

Report: Raiders plan to use franchise tag on Lamarr Houston

Combine News & Notes: Friday

Expectations are the Oakland Raiders will tag defensive tackle Lamarr Houston.  Whether its a franchise or transition tag is not clear.  Considering the teams salary cap situation, which is a good one, the transition tag may make more sense.

As we've been mentioning since last year, the Raiders need to spend a significant chunk of their cap room (which now looks to be more than $64M) just to reach the cap floor.

Indeed, tagging Houston makes a lot of sense - for one, it helps Oakland retain a player who sounded like he was trying to talk his way out of town a couple of months ago. Two, a ~$13M cap figure for one player would help toward reaching that salary floor; three, if anyone on the Raiders is worth paying, it's PFF's 11th highest graded defensive end and beastly run defender.