News

Print
RSS

Paying a price to remain with champs, Andrew Luck teaching NFL way in Europe and who’s the best CB?

Posted Apr 9, 2014

ClevelandBrowns.com takes you around the NFL with the Daily Kickoff. Today’s highlights: Tight end Zach Miller takes a huge pay cut to stay with the Seattle Seahawks, Andrew Luck and his father conduct an NFL clinic in London, and a New England Patriot identifies the game’s best cornerback.

Zach Miller, Andrew Luck and Darrelle Revis

For tight end Zach Miller, the chance to stay with the Seattle Seahawks literally meant more to him than money.

A whole lot of money.

Miller was due to be paid a base salary of $4.8 million this season and his contract was to consume $7 million of the Seahawks’ salary-cap space. But in order to remain with the team, he agreed to accept a reduced base salary of $900,000, bringing his cap figure to below $4 million.

“When it came down to it I wanted to be here and I just wanted to make that happen,” Miller told reporters while at Safeco Field for Tuesday night’s Seattle Mariners home-opener against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Before the game, the Mariners honored the Seahawks for their victory in Super Bowl XLVIII. Miller was one of several Seahawk players on hand, along with coach Pete Carroll.

“I’ve been around long enough that I know the business of the NFL,” Miller said. “I’m just happy to be back. Love to be on this team, love playing with these guys. For me, it never was a question of being anywhere else, I wanted to be here.”

ANDREW LUCK HELPS WITH NFL’S CONTINUED PUSH IN LONDON

The Indianapolis Colts don’t play a game in London this season, but they do have a natural ambassador for the NFL’s efforts to promote its game there in quarterback Andrew Luck.

Luck is very familiar with London and other parts of Europe because his father, West Virginia University athletic director and Cleveland native Oliver Luck, was general manager of the Frankfurt Galaxy and Rhein Fire of the World League of American Football and later served as the league’s president during his transformation to NFL Europe.

Earlier this week, Andrew and Oliver, a former standout quarterback at St. Ignatius High School and West Virginia University, hosted a youth football camp in London.

“My father was working for NFL Europe so my family has a strong affinity for American Football on this continent and in this country,” Andrew Luck told NFL UK. “I love to come back to both (England and Germany) at least once a year during the offseason to catch up with old families. I still have a bunch of family friends, a bunch of family members that live in Germany so I try to connect with them.

“We are working on football skills, focused on the offensive side of the ball, quarterbacks and then everyone else who catches the ball – quarterbacks, tight ends, running backs, tight ends, wide receivers. We’ve got a great group of guys … a lot of talent, surprising level of proficiency about the game so it’s been good.”

It is one thing for the NFL to attempt to grow a following by staging an increasing number of regular-season games in London. It’s another to have the Lucks and other current and former NFL players stage clinics that help connect with a critical demographic: youth.

‘BEST CORNERBACK’ DISCUSSION DEPENDS ON WHO’S TALKING

Where does the best cornerback in the NFL play?

Depending on where you pose the question, you will likely get different answers.

If it’s Seattle, you’ll hear Richard Sherman … probably from Sherman before anyone else. If it’s Cleveland, Joe Haden no doubt will get some mentions. And if it’s New England, well … let’s let Patriots defensive end Rob Ninkovich answer.

“We got the best corner in the league coming in,” he told reporters as the Patriots began offseason workouts.

In this case, the “best” is Darrelle Revis, whom the Pats acquired after he was released by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

“That’s always a good thing for a defensive end like myself,” Ninkovich said. “Just give me a little bit more time. I’ll be happy to use that.

“You can do whatever you want with (Revis). You can put him on the best receiver, tight end, whoever, and just say, ‘Hey, go cover this guy,’ and he can do it. So whenever you have a guy that is that talented, it’s always great, as far as defensive schemes.”

Then again, there are defensive linemen and linebackers who would offer similar thoughts about Sherman and Haden.

BENGALS HOLD ONTO REPLACEMENT FOR ANDREW HAWKINS

After losing restricted free agent Andrew Hawkins to the Cleveland Browns, the Cincinnati Bengals clearly needed to do something to be sure they did something to help make sure they have a capable replacement as their new slot receiver.

And that something was to re-sign another free agent at the spot, Dane Sanzenbacher.

The Bengals claimed Sanzenbacher off waivers from the Chicago Bears late in the 2012 season. Last season, he caught six passes for 61 yards and a touchdown. In two years with the Bears, he had 28 receptions.

NFLPA CALLS WORKPLACE TALKS WITH NFL ‘POSITIVE’

Representatives of the NFL and the NFL Players Association gathered Tuesday to talk primarily about workplace behavior as it applies to players.

“The discussions between owners and players about a professional workplace were positive,” the NFLPA said in a statement. “We will continue to work together to set the highest workplace standards for everyone in the business of football.”

>>Be sure to tune in Monday through Friday, 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. ET, for Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford on ESPN 850 WKNR or catch the live stream right here on ClevelandBrowns.com.

>>Have a question for “Cleveland Browns Daily, Driven by Liberty Ford”? Ask me at Twitter.com/viccarucci or by e-mail at daily@clevelandbrowns.com or by calling 855-363-2459.

Recent Articles