Von Miller News

The Denver Broncos’ summer break began with an ominous message from superstar Von Miller. The Super Bowl MVP suggested he’ll sit out the 2016 season if general manager John Elway doesn’t meet his contract demands in the next month.

One day after saying on Chelsea Handler’s new Netflix show that there was no way he’d consider skipping the season, Miller posted a photo on Instragam on Thursday that said: ”I love my Teammates, Coaches, and My Fans” but there is ”No Chance” I play the 2016 season under the Franchise tag.”

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If the sides can’t agree on a long-term extension by July 15, Miller would have to play this season on the franchise tag of $14.129 million – or he could choose to sit out the season altogether.

Acrimony set in last week, however, when the team leaked details of its offer that Miller’s camp rejected.

The six-year, $114.5 million offer included $38.5 million in guarantees over the first two seasons, far below the going rate for elite players. The Broncos offered a third year at $19.5 million that would only kick in after the 2017 season.

Miller wants that third year fully guaranteed from the start. His price assuredly has risen in the last week, too, because a couple of days after the negotiations between Miller and the Broncos hit a standstill, Eagles defensive lineman Fletcher Cox signed a six-year extension that runs through 2022 and includes $63 million in guarantees.

That’s the most ever for a non-quarterback. And he’ll get $55 million of that within the first nine months because a big portion of the guaranteed money kicks in a month after the next Super Bowl.

At that ring ceremony, Hall of Famer Shannon Sharpe took a serving tray and turned it into a collection plate, imploring everybody to pitch in and help GM John Elway sign Miller. The tongue-in-cheek gesture actually netted some greenbacks.

After the Broncos took a pause in talks with Miller’s agent and pivoted to finishing a four-year, $32 million deal with linebacker Brandon Marshall, Miller took his first social media swipe at Elway.

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NFL Live Scores

NFL Live Scores: 2016 NFL Over/Under Win Totals: Cowboys Projected To Win NFC East

ee agency is still two weeks away, the NFL draft is two months away, and kickoff to the 2016 NFL season is still half a year away, but that’s not going to stop Vegas-based sportsbook CG Technologies from posting season win projections for the 2016 season.

The early projections can be a hit and miss affair. In 2013 the bookmakers were right on the money when they set the early over/under for the Cowboys at 8.5 wins. Heading into 2014, they had the Cowboys at an even eight wins, and the Cowboys’ 12-4 finish made that earyl projection look a little silly. Last year the early over/under was 9.5 wins for the Cowboys, which just goes to show what a disappointing finish their 4-12 record was.

This year, the Cowboys are projected for 9.0 wins, tied for the ninth-highest total in the NFL. That places them atop the NFC East, 1.5 games ahead of the Giants, Eagles, and Redskins, all of whom are bunched at 7.5 wins.

The Cowboys haven’t drafted anybody or acquired anybody in free agency. We still have OTAs, minicamps and training camp ahead of us. Not a single snap of organized football has been played yet. And while we don’t have a lot of information about the 2016 team, what we do have is an abundance of opinions about the team. Are you optimistic enough about the Cowboys’ chances this year that you would take the over on those 9.0 wins? Or are you picking the under?

You can look up the projected win totals for all 32 teams here, or you can simply browse through the table below to find out how the individual odds combine into divisional standings for all 32 teams.

National Football Conference
NFC East Proj. Wins
Dallas Cowboys 9
New York Giants 7.5
Philadelphia Eagles 7.5
Washington Redskins 7.5
NFC North Proj. Wins
Green Bay Packers 10.5
Minnesota Vikings 9
Detroit Lions 7
Chicago Bears 6.5
NFC South Proj. Wins
Carolina Panthers 10.5
Atlanta Falcons 7
New Orleans Saints 7
Tampa Bay Buccaneers 6.5
NFC West Proj. Wins
Seattle Seahawks 10.5
Arizona Cardinals 9.5
Los Angeles Rams 7
San Francisco 49ers 5
American Football Conference
AFC East Proj. Wins
New England Patriots 10.5
Buffalo Bills 8
New York Jets 7
Miami Dolphins 7
AFC North Proj. Wins
Pittsburgh Steelers 10.5
Cincinnati Bengals 9.5
Baltimore Ravens 7.5
Cleveland Browns 4.5
AFC South Proj. Wins
Indianapolis Colts 8.5
Houston Texans 8
Jacksonville Jaguars 6
Tennessee Titans 5.5
AFC West Proj. Wins
Denver Broncos 9.5
Kansas City Chiefs 9
Oakland Raiders 7.5
San Diego Chargers 7

There are lots of things that can change between now and the end of the 2016 season, but over/unders are a strong indicator that the betting public believes the window for the Cowboys to be a Super Bowl contender is not closed yet – despite last year’s 4-12 record.

The Cowboys have 20 free agents, most of whom they still need to take a decision on. But the core of their roster will remain intact. All five Pro Bowlers are still under contract, and Tony Romo, Dez Bryant, and Orlando Scandrick are all expected back healthy for next season. Plus they’ll get a shot in the arm from the most premium draft position they’ve had since they drafted first overall in 1991.

Are you picking the over or the under at 9.0 wins?

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Draft Pick Profile – Ezekiel Elliott

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4. Ohio State RB Ezekiel Elliott
6-foot-0, 225 pounds

Key stat: In four-game span to close out the Buckeyes’ 2014 national-title season — against rival Michigan, Wisconsin in the Big Ten championship game, and Alabama and Oregon in the two playoff games — Elliott rushed 93 times for 817 yards (8.8 yards per carry) and 10 touchdowns.

[Follow Yahoo Sports draft expert Eric Edholm on Facebook and Twitter]

The skinny: An elite prep track and football star, coached by former NFL quarterback Gus Frerotte, who chose Ohio State over Mizzou, where both his parents were alumni. Elliott averaged 8.7 yards a carry as a true freshman in a part-time role and then broke out as a sophomore in 2014. Despite suffering a broken left wrist in the preseason, Elliott carried the ball in his right hand and amassed nearly 2,100 yards from scrimmage and scored 18 TDs on the season, capping it with title game MVP honors in a 246-yard, 4-TD rushing game against Oregon.

Elliott scored 23 TDs in 2015 as a junior and was held below 108 yards rushing in one game — the Buckeyes’ loss to Michigan State before which he spent two days in the hospital with a leg infection and a 103-degree fever. After the game, Elliott complained about the coaches not giving him the ball more in the game that ended OSU’s unbeaten season. He scored at least one TD in 17 of his final 18 games, ran for 100 yards or more in 17 of 18 games and lost only four fumbles in 653 college touches.

Best-suited destination: Put him in a man- or a zone-blocking scheme. Line him up in I-formations or single-back sets. Run quick-hitting stuff or more slow-developing plays. Elliott has done it all, and there isn’t much he’s not good at. He could be featured more as a receiver in the pros than he was in college, and Elliott is one of the best pass-protecting backs in recent memory. Elliott has the makeup of a player who could and should step into an NFL lineup — no matter the system — and be a factor from Day 1. Any team that values toughness, smarts, versatility and exceptional vision in its backs would love to have him.

Upside: If teams draft strictly for talent, he should not wait long to hear his name called. The breakout of Todd Gurley (following an ACL injury, no less) showed that rare talents at running back are the exceptions to the don’t-draft-an-RB-high argument. Elliott has that kind of ability, and other than a nagging wrist injury that he’s played through, there is not a big durability concern with him. Elliott routinely turns potential losses into gains, will fight through tiny cracks, is a great short-yardage runner and is a three-down contributor. He has very few limiting or discernable weaknesses.

DownsideMany teams, especially those that throw the ball 60 percent or more of the time, are not likely to see the same value of a running back in the top half-dozen picks of the draft. Are they going to take a pass blocker, part-time runner and four-catch-a-game back that high? It has been a pattern in the NFL for lower-round picks (or undrafted players even) at that position to have success that’s way out of whack from their draft status. Elliott called out his coaches in the heat of the moment, and his passion for the game and self-confidence might not sit well with a hard-line, old-school coach.

Scouting hot take: “Best back I’ve scouted in years. I’ll admit I was all in on [Trent Richardson], too. But this one is different. He could be a Marshall Faulk-like back in a few years.” — AFC college scouting director

Player comp: There might never be another LaDainian Tomlinson, but Elliott is the closest thing since him

2016 Over/Under Wins Predictions – AFC

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AFC West

Denver Broncos 9.0 Over (-125) / Under (-105) — What a wild card team this is. John Elway gives no bleeps and stared down the quarterback market all offseason before drafting Paxton Lynch late in the first round. Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders will make him a much better quarterback in Gary Kubiak’s offense than people expect (rolling out on the edge and throwing deep fits his skill set). Despite the departures, this defense remains stacked, thanks to DeMarcus Ware and Von Miller, plus the best secondary in the NFL. Expect a better C.J. Anderson than you saw for most of last year. The AFC South is better, but this is a strong schedule for an underrated team.

VERDICT: OVER

Kansas City Chiefs 9.5 Over (-115) / Under (-115) — Lot of wins here, although they also benefit from a bad schedule. Mitchell Schwartz was a nice addition in free agency and the defense will still be strong, but losing Sean Smith definitely hurts. Andy Reid has a funny way of making Alex Smith and some combination of running backs dangerous. They’ll flirt with the number and get easy divisions on the schedule, but this could be the year they stumble a bit under Reid.

VERDICT: UNDER

Oakland Raiders 8.0 Over (-150) / Under (+120) — There’s not a hotter team in terms of a bandwagon than Oakland. They loaded up on upgrades in the secondary with Reggie Nelson, Sean Smith and Karl Joseph and have Khalil Mack, destroyer of men. Derek Carrcould take a step forward and has Amari Cooper and Michael Crabtree. This is secretly the best offensive line in football. Sometimes a line is just a line.

VERDICT: OVER***

San Diego Chargers 7.0 Over (-110) / Under (-120) — The Joey Bosa pick makes sense because he’s a great football player, but he’s a weird guy for that defense. The offensive line can’t get any more injured than it’s been in the last few years, right? Philip Rivers is still elite, and he dealt with the Antonio Gates suspension, Keenan Allen‘s kidney exploding and Melvin Gordon generally being terrible last year. This offense can’t help but be more efficient. The defense has lots of pieces that could jump as well. Sneaky team in a division that might not be great.

VERDICT: OVER

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AFC North

Baltimore Ravens 8.5 Over (Even) / Under (-130) — A rare disastrous season for the Ravens has the world expecting another bad year, except even the expectations for a bad Ravens team are still high. They’ll get Steve Smith back, and a first year out of Breshad Perriman should mean more vertical explosion for this offense. Joe Flacco‘s health is being totally glossed over. Multiple guys on this defense need to take a step forward, but are totally capable of doing so. Bounceback season coming.

VERDICT: OVER

Cincinnati Bengals 9.5 Over (-130) / Under (Even) — Last year’s total was a total joke and easily exposed. This year is a little more difficult, considering it requires 10 wins and it’s not paying very well. Also: you have to deal with the loss of a viable second wide receiver (although Tyler Boyd is going to be a sneaky stud) and the loss of Hue Jackson. The latter is the biggest concern for Andy Dalton‘s development, but this is a team getting the NFC East and AFC East. The problem is the schedule looks brutal and it might be a step-back year.

VERDICT: UNDER

Cleveland Browns 4.5 Over (-140) / Under (Even) — Four wins is an obscene number. But the Browns are averaging five wins a year over the last 13 years. That is a factory of sadness at maximum efficiency. And this roster is designed to be the worst we’ve seen in a while. Robert Griffin III is going to surprise some people. Corey Coleman is a sleeper for Rookie of the Year. Duke Johnson is perfect for Hue Jackson’s running back attack. The defense added pieces. But it’s a rebuild, and this team is terrible. Like them for the future but can’t like them right now.

VERDICT: UNDER

Pittsburgh Steelers 10.5 Over (-130) / Under (Even) — Potential Super Bowl pick for me here. So much invested from the draft on the defense and offensive line. Those pieces are eventually going to click for a franchise whose success is predicated on developing talent. Ben Roethlisberger should have been mentioned more the last few years in terms of the MVP conversation. Antonio Brown is unstoppable. Le’Veon Bell will be back. They just find talent at wideout and could be the most explosive offense in football. The price is terrible, but betting against them is crazy.

VERDICT: OVER

AFC East

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Buffalo Bills 8.0 Over (-115) / Under (-115) — Tremendous job of improving in the draft on defense by the Bills. Shaq Lawson and Reggie Ragland make them better off the bat. No one is talking about the quarterback situation though — if Tyrod Taylor isn’t happy and won’t play for a low amount of money, they could be stuck with EJ Manuel. Taylor is going to play, but him unhappy is bad news. Cardale Jones starting in the NFL right now? Worse news. Sammy Watkins is a stud, but who is playing next to him? This defense gets way better, but the offense gets way worse in a surprisingly down year.

VERDICT: UNDER

Miami Dolphins 7.0 Over (-125) / Under (-105) — Kind of a sucker for Adam Gase here, so forgive me for buying into the Dolphins a bit. They did add more protection in Laremy Tunsil (smokescreen!) and the defense has a lot of “win-now” potential if everything breaks right. Ryan Tannehill is going to get better under Gase, the way people thought he would last year. His weapons — DeVante ParkerJarvis LandryKenny StillsJordan Cameron — are sneaky. Jay Ajayi has to carry a load, but he can do that for a year. If they can go 2-2 out of the gate, they’ll crush this over.

VERDICT: OVER

New England Patriots 10.5 Over (-115) / Under (-115) — How is this not discounted for Tom Brady‘s four-game suspension? Take us down to single digits, Vegas! The reality is the Pats are going to win double-digit games because that’s what the Patriots do. The over is a tough sell because of Brady’s suspension, but it’s still a really good buy. They have Brady for 10 games, which means something in the range of eight wins worst case (look at the schedule). So if they can go 3-1 against the Cardinals, Dolphins, Texans and Bills with Jimmy Garropolo under center, it’s a lock. Oh yeah — Brady could still play theoretically.

VERDICT: OVER***

New York Jets 8.0 Over (-115) / Under (-115) — Does this price assume Ryan Fitzpatrick will play quarterback or … who? Geno Smith is going to be better than people expect if he starts, but if Christian Hackenberg ever has to play this under is a lock. Muhammad Wilkerson‘s status is a major concern and the defensive line is much, much worse without him. Four of six and six of nine on the road to start the season is brutal. At least they don’t get the Pats without Brady! Oh wait. I buy into Matt Forte but he isn’t the physical workhorse Chris Ivory was.

VERDICT: UNDER

AFC South

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Houston Texans 8.5 Over (-130) / Under (Even) — The Texans won nine games each of the last two years and they didn’t have Brock OsweilerLamar Miller, Will Fuller and Braxton Miller on offense. There are issues with acclimating the group to a new scheme, but Bill O’Brien works wonders on offense and this is his best personnel grouping by far. The Texans are getting way less love than the rest of the AFC South and are a strong pick here to steal the division if they’re not favored. Also: J.J. Watt is on the defense.

VERDICT: OVER

Indianapolis Colts 9.5 Over (Even) / Under (-130) — Grabbing Ryan Kelly was critical to help Andrew Luck stay healthy. They’re better this year just because he’s not being pelted left and right and consistently injured. But the defense isn’t better, and the entire division is significantly improved. It just feels like a nine-win team, which is totally fine and also the level at which they played over the past few years, and not some lucky 12-win team that feasts on a really terrible division.

VERDICT: UNDER

Jacksonville Jaguars 7.5 Over (-125) / Under (-105) — The second-hottest team in the NFL when it comes to bandwagon riding. Hard to blame people considering what Jacksonville did this offseason, adding Malik JacksonPrince Amukamara and then landing Jalen Ramsey and Myles Jack in the draft. They look like they could take a leap. The biggest concern might be Blake BortlesAllen Robinson and Allen Hurns continuing to progress in a similar fashion. But you just need .500, and anything is possible in this division.

VERDICT: OVER

Tennessee Titans 5.5 Over (-165) / Under (+130) — I love the effort to get better at being a running, exotic smashmouth team by adding Derrick Henry and Jack Conklin. The division is easy, and getting to play the Browns is choice. Marcus Mariota is a legitimate future superstar at quarterback. But Mike Mularkey isn’t transforming this team into some juggernaut and they could struggle out of the gates with a tough schedule and an improved division. It wouldn’t be surprising at all to see them pick in the top two for the third straight year.

VERDICT: UNDER

2016 NFL Draft – Round 1 Picks

 

PICK TEAM PLAYER POS HT WT COLLEGE GRADE WATCH
1(1) Rams (From Titans) Goff, Jared QB 6’4″ 215 California 6.5  
2(2) Eagles (From Browns) Wentz, Carson QB 6’5″ 237 North Dakota St. 6.5  
3(3) Chargers Bosa, Joey DE 6’5″ 269 Ohio St. 6.7  
4(4) Cowboys Elliott, Ezekiel RB 6’0″ 225 Ohio St. 7.0  
5(5) Jaguars Ramsey, Jalen CB 6’1″ 209 Florida St. 6.8  
6(6) Ravens Stanley, Ronnie OT 6’6″ 312 Notre Dame 6.5  
7(7) 49ers Buckner, DeForest DE 6’7″ 291 Oregon 7.2  
8(8) Titans (From Browns through Eagles through Dolphins) Conklin, Jack OT 6’6″ 308 Michigan St. 6.4  
9(9) Bears (From Buccaneers) Floyd, Leonard OLB 6’6″ 244 Georgia 6.5  
10(10) Giants Apple, Eli CB 6’1″ 199 Ohio St. 6.0  
11(11) Buccaneers (From Bears) Hargreaves, Vernon CB 5’10” 204 Florida 6.6  
12(12) Saints Rankins, Sheldon DT 6’1″ 299 Louisville 6.2  
13(13) Dolphins (From Eagles) Tunsil, Laremy OT 6’5″ 310 Mississippi 7.6  
14(14) Raiders Joseph, Karl S 5’10” 205 West Virginia 5.9  
15(15) Browns (From Titans through Rams) Coleman, Corey WR 5’11” 194 Baylor 6.0  
16(16) Lions Decker, Taylor OT 6’7″ 310 Ohio St. 5.9  
17(17) Falcons Neal, Keanu SS 6’0″ 211 Florida 5.8  
18(18) Colts Kelly, Ryan C 6’4″ 311 Alabama 5.8  
19(19) Bills Lawson, Shaq DE 6’3″ 269 Clemson 6.2  
20(20) Jets Lee, Darron OLB 6’1″ 232 Ohio St. 6.2  
21(21) Texans (From Redskins) Fuller, Will WR 6’0″ 186 Notre Dame 6.2  
22(22) Redskins (From Texans) Doctson, Josh WR 6’2″ 202 TCU 6.1  
23(23) Vikings Treadwell, Laquon WR 6’2″ 221 Mississippi 6.2  
24(24) Bengals Jackson III, William CB 6’0″ 189 Houston 5.9  
25(25) Steelers Burns, Artie CB 6’0″ 193 Miami 5.9  
26(26) Broncos (From Seahawks) Lynch, Paxton QB 6’7″ 244 Memphis 6.1  
27(27) Packers Clark, Kenny DT 6’3″ 314 UCLA 5.9  
28(28) 49ers (From Chiefs) Garnett, Joshua OG 6’4″ 312 Stanford 5.8  
30(29) Cardinals Nkemdiche, Robert DT 6’3″ 294 Mississippi 6.3  
31(30) Panthers Butler, Vernon DT 6’4″ 323 Louisiana Tech 6.1  
32(31) Seahawks (From Broncos) Ifedi, Germain OG 6’6″ 324 Texas A&M 5.8