Guest of the League
Auction action Est. 2020
Draft Masters - FFL: Preseason | NFL: Week 1

Von Miller makes his presence felt at 1st Bills practice

Wed May 25 2:59am ET
By JOHN WAWROW
AP Sports Writer

Related photo caption below

Buffalo Bills linebacker Von Miller (40) poses during an NFL football practice in Orchard Park, N.Y., Tuesday May 24, 2022. (AP Photo/ Jeffrey T. Barnes)


ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) For someone who acknowledged being torn over leaving a Super Bowl champion and the bright lights of Los Angeles for Buffalo, Von Miller certainly looked at home wearing a Bills helmet in making his practice debut on Tuesday.

Whether it was grooving to the music on the sideline, playfully posing to a photographer, providing tips to second-year defensive end Greg Rousseau or bursting off the line in forcing Josh Allen out of the pocket, Miller's presence was apparent during the second day of the Bills' voluntary workouts.

''My first impression of him from him wearing the same jersey is outstanding and thankful,'' left tackle Dion Dawkins said. ''I'm thankful to have him.''

All it took to wow Dawkins was catching a glimpse of the 33-year-old Miller during the stretching portion of practice.

''He's like a gymnastics person, where he's just real fluid. Almost like water,'' Dawkins added. ''That's the most impressive thing, that he can move his body in certain ways that I can't for sure.''

Two months after leaving the Rams to sign a six-year contract with the two-time defending AFC East champions in free agency, the Von Miller effect formally took root on a talented Buffalo team with championship aspirations.

With Allen overseeing a potent offense, Miller adds muscle to what had been the NFL's top-ranked defense but with a middling pass rush last season. He's a two-time Super Bowl champion who leads active players with 115 1/2 sacks, including 9 1/2 a year ago, plus four more in the playoffs.

Miller, who wasn't made available to reporters following practice, previously said he wouldn't have left L.A. for any team but Buffalo because of the collection of talent assembled.

''When I was on the plane to fly here and sign my contract, I was like, 'Bro, I'm coming here to tell them that I'm going back to L.A.,'' he said with a laugh last month. ''Then I got here and I sat down with all the guys and, man, I just felt at peace. I felt like this was the place.''

It was then, when Miller began looking forward to his first practice.

''I'm excited to go. I'm ready to go win a Super Bowl for the Buffalo Bills,'' he said.

The Bills spent the offseason bulking up their defensive front by signing free-agent tackles Jordan Phillips, DaQuan Jones and Tim Settle.

Miller, meantime, immediately becomes the focal point of a young and developing group of pass rushers made up of second-year players Rousseau and Boogie Basham, third-year player A.J. Epenesa, as well as Shaq Lawson, a free-agent addition who returns to Buffalo for a second stint.

Coach Sean McDermott on Tuesday placed an emphasis on his young pass rushers to make a larger impact.

''This is going to be a big offseason for those guys,'' McDermott said, referring specifically to Rousseau, Basham and Epenesa. ''I mean, they're in a position where we need them to really, really grow and develop and make a mark on our defense - and not just in a supporting role, but in a primary role.''

Rousseau, who had four sacks as a backup last season, is the projected candidate to start opposite Miller. Though players practiced in shorts and without pads, the duo showed flashes of their disruptive potential by collapsing the pocket during a team drill.

''I feel that we're going to learn a lot from him. We already have been learning from him,'' Rousseau said, of Miller pulling him aside and providing pointers. ''So I'm excited to go out there each and every day and practice with a Hall of Famer.''

Whomever lines up opposite Miller should benefit from facing more one-on-one situations, with opposing offenses expected to focus their blocking attention on the other side.

That's something the Bills lacked last season, and led to them not re-signing Jerry Hughes and Mario Addison, after they combined for just nine sacks.

Buffalo finished tied for 11th in the NFL with 42 sacks, though 14 of them came in the final two weeks of the season in wins over Atlanta and the New York Jets.

''Whatever they want me to do, I'm going to be able to get it done,'' Miller said, before discounting questions of his age entering his 12th NFL season.

''I'm 33, but I honestly don't feel 33,'' he said.

''This is a six-year deal so I'm looking forward to playing the whole thing out,'' Miller added. ''I'm a real sicko when you get to know me. My mindset is different.''

NOTES: McDermott acknowledged starting safety Jordan Poyer's absence from the voluntary sessions is contract related by saying ''business is business right now.'' Poyer is entering the final year of his deal and recently changed agents by hiring Drew Rosenhaus. McDermott said he and Poyer had a brief chat while the player attended fellow safety Micah Hyde's charity softball tournament in Buffalo last week. ... Without going into detail, McDermott said offensive lineman Spencer Brown is sidelined after having a procedure, while tight end Dawson Knox is also dealing with an injury. Both are expected to be ready for the start of training camp in July.

Top Headlines
The Paur Report

Fantasy Schedule Breakdown

Player Notes
Christian Kirk May 24 10:13pm ET
Christian Kirk

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Christian Kirk and QB Trevor Lawrence have developed a good relationship early on, Lawrence recently stated. '[Kirk is] really talented and we get along really well. Like I said, [we have] similar personalities and demeanors,' Lawrence said. 'He's great. Just from a football IQ sense, I think he's really quarterback friendly.'

Fantasy Spin: Getting on the same page with Lawrence is huge for Kirk's 2022 prospects, but until we see this budding relationship produce targets and results for Kirk, he's a WR3.

From TheHuddle

Deshaun Watson May 24 9:53pm ET
Deshaun Watson

Cleveland Browns QB Deshaun Watson's status for 2022 remains up in the air after NFL commissioner Roger Goodell didn't give a timeline for a disciplinary ruling when speaking to the media on Tuesday, May 24. Goodell did note that that the league is 'nearing the end of the investigation.'

From TheHuddle

Sebastian Joseph May 24 9:20pm ET
Sebastian Joseph

Los Angeles Chargers defensive end Khalil Mack (foot) could probably go at full speed right now, according to head coach Brandon Staley. He missed the end of last season due to a foot issue. However, he notched six sacks in seven games, while dealing with his banged up foot. The Chargers believe Mack should be ready for the beginning of next season. His presence and the addition of J.C. Jackson, and Sebastian Joseph-Day could make the Chargers an interesting defensive unit.

From RotoBaller

Jimmy Garoppolo May 24 9:00pm ET
Jimmy Garoppolo

San Francisco 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is expected to be traded, but it's not guaranteed, according to head coach Kyle Shanahan. The trade rumors have been swirling for awhile now, but he remains on the 49ers roster. Right now, the Carolina Panthers and Seattle Seahawks appear to be the two main teams interested in Garoppolo. It sounds like the trade market on Garoppolo has been slow lately. It'll be interested to see if Garoppolo gets moved before the beginning of training camp.

From RotoBaller

Von Miller May 24 9:00pm ET
Von Miller

Buffalo Bills defensive back Tre'Davious White (knee) appears to be on schedule with his recovery, according to head coach Sean McDermott. The two-time Pro Bowl defensive back went down in Week 12 with a torn ACL. Surprisingly, the Bills defense didn't struggle too much without White. Although, his return and the addition of Von Miller should make this a top 5 defensive unit heading into next season.

From RotoBaller

Deebo Samuel May 24 8:50pm ET
Deebo Samuel

San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Deebo Samuel is expected to be at mandatory OTAs, according to head coach Kyle Shanahan. The organization is hopeful that the two sides can get back to normal. However, they've made little progress on an extension, which is somewhat concerning. The 49ers don't have a ton of cap space, but possibly a deal gets done after Jimmy Garoppolo gets traded. Fantasy managers will have to wait and see what happens with the season still months away.

From RotoBaller

Robert Woods May 24 8:23pm ET
Robert Woods

Tennessee Titans WR Robert Woods (knee) was on the field with a brace on his knee during practice Tuesday, May 24, but appeared to be limited.

Fantasy Spin: Woods should be ready for the start of training camp and will be the No. 1 or No. 2 receiver for the Titans. Woods' fantasy value likely will take a bit of a hit because of the new offense he is in but can be a No. 3 fantasy receiver in most leagues.

From TheHuddle

Jimmy Garoppolo May 24 7:03pm ET
Jimmy Garoppolo

San Francisco 49ers QB Jimmy Garoppolo is still likely to be traded at some point during the season, but head coach Kyle Shanahan said there is no guarantee that a trade will be done.

Fantasy Spin: Garoppolo is recovering from shoulder surgery, and the 49ers want to go with Trey Lance as their new starting quarterback. Garoppolo will have a hard time finding a starting job this upcoming season and can be avoided in most fantasy leagues.

From TheHuddle

Jason Verrett May 24 6:13pm ET
Jason Verrett

San Francisco CB Jason Verrett (knee) hopefully will be cleared by the start of training camp, according to head coach Kyle Shanahan.

From TheHuddle

Eric Murray May 24 5:43pm ET
Eric Murray

Houston Texans DE Jonathan Greenard (undisclosed) and S Eric Murray (undisclosed) underwent surgeries this offseason, but both players should be ready for the start of training camp, according to head coach Lovie Smith.

From TheHuddle

Tre'Davious White May 24 2:43pm ET
Tre'Davious White

Buffalo Bills CB Tre'Davious White (knee) is reportedly on schedule in terms of his recovery timeline from a torn anterior cruciate ligament, according to head coach Sean McDermott.

From TheHuddle

Sam Darnold May 24 2:20pm ET
Sam Darnold

Carolina Panthers quarterback Sam Darnold said he's "confident I can be one of the best quarterbacks in the league." He also said that improving his footwork is something that he needs to do to bounce back. "There were times last year when my feet got very just loose is a good term . . . chaotic," Darnold said. As of right now, the former third overall pick of the New York Jets in 2018 is Carolina's starter, but rookie Matt Corral will compete with him in training camp, and the Panthers could also decide to trade for Cleveland Browns QB Baker Mayfield. Darnold played in only 12 games last year due to injury, but he was wildly inconsistent when he was on the field, throwing for 2,527 yards, nine touchdowns and 13 interceptions. Even if he's starting in Week 1, fantasy managers will consider him a low-end QB2 option with a short leash.

From RotoBaller

Deion Jones May 24 2:00pm ET
Deion Jones

Atlanta Falcons linebacker Deion Jones is expected to be a post-June 1 cut. He is paid too much money for too little production and clearly isn't a part of the team's long-term rebuilding plan. Jones has a team-high salary cap hit of $20.5 million this year. Cutting him before June 1 would create $24.32 million in dead money, while waiting until after June 1 would drop it to $18.98 million. The Falcons would prefer to trade him after June 1, which would leave only a $5.34 million dead-money hit. But getting another team to take his guaranteed $13.64 million salary won't be easy. Atlanta drafted three linebackers in the first three rounds and signed three unrestricted free-agent linebackers, so the writing is on the wall for Jones. While he's not a part of Atlanta's future, he still had 137 tackles (87 solo), eight tackles for loss, four QB hits, two sacks and six passes defensed for the Falcons in 2021.

From RotoBaller

Darrel Williams May 24 1:50pm ET
Darrel Williams

Free-agent running back Darrel Williams is signing an undisclosed deal with the Arizona Cardinals on Tuesday, according to a source. Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes vouched for Williams, telling the Cardinals he was a back that he liked and trusted. With Clyde Edwards-Helaire missing time with an injury last year, Williams stepped up and produced over 1,000 scrimmage yards with eight touchdowns and zero fumbles on 191 touches for the Chiefs. James Conner, who had an impressive bounce-back season in Arizona in 2021, will remain the team's primary back, but Williams will be a highly coveted handcuff in fantasy. Williams had 558 rushing yards and added 452 receiving yards last year, so he could have some PPR value as an RB3/flex, even if Conner remains healthy.

From RotoBaller

Kyle Fuller May 24 1:50pm ET
Kyle Fuller

The Baltimore Ravens agreed to terms with free-agent cornerback Kyle Fuller on an undisclosed one-year deal on Tuesday. Fuller was originally a first-round pick (14th overall) by the Chicago Bears in 2014 out of Virginia Tech. He spent the first six seasons of his career with the Bears and was a Pro Bowler in 2018 and 2019 before joining the Denver Broncos last season. The 30-year-old struggled while in the slot in 2021 and finished with 51 tackles (40 solo), three tackles for loss and four passes defensed in 16 games (10 starts). Fuller will likely be the favorite to be Baltimore's third cornerback behind Marcus Peters and Marlon Humphrey, although he'll compete with youngsters Brandon Stephens, Jalyn Armour-Davis and Damarion Williams.

From RotoBaller

Christian McCaffrey May 24 1:43pm ET
Christian McCaffrey

Carolina Panthers RB Christian McCaffrey will not play at all during the preseason, according to comments made by head coach Matt Rhule on Tuesday, May 24. Rhule also noted the team is 'looking into taking a different approach' with McCaffrey during practices moving forward.

Fantasy Spin: It is unclear what this "different approach" might be, but it likely involves limiting McCaffrey having the option of practicing once a week during the season to keep him off his feet. It can also involve a yet-to-be-created plan that helps the team avoid the nightmare scenario from last year in which McCaffrey missed about three more weeks than expected after aggravating a hamstring injury during practice. Whenever McCaffrey is healthy, he is arguably the most valuable player in fantasy football.

From TheHuddle

Christian McCaffrey May 24 1:40pm ET
Christian McCaffrey

Carolina Panthers head coach Matt Rhule said that running back Christian McCaffrey will be held out of all preseason games again this year, and the team is looking into taking a different approach with him during practices. It's not surprising after CMC has become the most injury prone running back in the league the last two years. And when he's healthy, he's arguably the most valuable real-life and fantasy back in the NFL. The 25-year-old had over 1,000 yards rushing and receiving while adding 19 total touchdowns in 2019, but he's playing in just 10 games combined the last two years due to various injuries. The Panthers will do everything in their power to keep him on the field, which should make fantasy managers a bit more comfortable taking him as an elite RB1.

From RotoBaller

Kyle Fuller May 24 1:23pm ET
Kyle Fuller

Free-agent CB Kyle Fuller (Broncos) agreed to terms on a one-year contract with the Baltimore Ravens on Tuesday, May 24. Financial terms of the deal were not immediately disclosed.

From TheHuddle

Marquis Haynes May 24 1:13pm ET
Marquis Haynes

Carolina Panthers DE Marquis Haynes (hand) recently underwent surgery on a ligament in his hand but is not expected to need much time to recover, according to head coach Matt Rhule.

From TheHuddle

Antonio Gibson May 24 1:00pm ET
Antonio Gibson

The Washington Commanders envision running backs Antonio Gibson and rookie Brian Robinson Jr. leading their backfield this year. Robinson will provide a little more power and short-yardage success while also helping to keep Gibson fresher over the full season. There's also J.D. McKissic, who has 123 catches over the last two seasons. Gibson rushed for 1,037 in 2021, sixth-most in the NFL, and he showed more patience. Gibson's touches should remain high -- he ranked fourth in the league with 300 last year -- but his weekly usage could vary more with Robinson and McKissic firmly in the mix. "If the game's going to get physical and you have to really grind it out, you want to mix in with somebody else," Rivera said. "They may not get 20 carries, but just to change up the physicality."

From RotoBaller