Oakland Raiders Franchise Tag Kamerion Wimbley, New Plan For Zach Miller?

James ArcellanaCorrespondent IIFebruary 24, 2011

OAKLAND, CA - DECEMBER 19:  Zach Miller #80 of the Oakland Raiders in action during their game against the Denver Broncos at Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum on December 19, 2010 in Oakland, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

I noted in an article two days ago that although the Oakland Raiders had decided to buy back Kamerion Wimbley's contract, there might be an issue because the buy back would violate the NFL's 30 percent rule.

Lo and behold, news came out today that Wimbley and his agent successfully sought to have the buy back invalidated. In response, the Raiders moved quickly and placed their franchise tag on the team's sack leader from 2010.

This is somewhat surprising for a number of reasons.

First, the buy back option in Wimbley's contract would have meant that he would be making $3.5 million this season. By placing the franchise tag on Wimbley, the Raiders are agreeing to pay him $10.191 million for the upcoming season.

As good as Wimbley was last season, that sounds awfully high to me, and I am surprised the Raiders did not simply re-sign him long term as I have been hoping they would.

Secondly, it had been vastly rumored that the Raiders would be using the franchise tag on star tight end Zach Miller. Miller is the team's best receiving threat and is likely to become one of the best tight ends in the NFL over the next couple of years.

When the news was broken that the Raiders had decided to tag Wimbley and not Miller, there were immediate rumors about who Miller might play for next season. In my mind, there is no question, Miller will be wearing Silver and Black next season.

Miller is far too big a part of our team to let go, and Al Davis loves him.

Coinciding with the news that the Raiders had tagged Wimbley was news that the NFL teams had decided that they would be using the restricted free agent tenders despite the lack of a new CBA.

This is not a mere coincidence.

I am positive that the Raiders will either sign Zach Miller to a long-term deal, or else place a first-and-third tender on him ensuring that, if he does leave, the Raiders will receive a first- and third-round draft pick as compensation.

I imagine that within the next week, we will know exactly what the Raiders plan on doing with Miller, but rest assured, they are not simply going to let him walk.