NFL Free Agency Breaking News: Seattle Seahawks Sign Zach Miller
ESPN's John Clayton and Mike Sando are reporting former Raiders TE Zach Miller has reached an agreement with the Seahawks.
The writing was on the wall for Oakland after the Seahawks flew the tight end to their headquarters in Renton, Washington and courted him over dinner. Not to be defeated, Al Davis responded by clearing cap room, anticipating a bidding war.
Although costly, the Seahawks have won that bidding war, and have added Zach Miller to the bevy of free agents signed to upgrade the offense.
The damage? 5 years, $34 million with $17 million guaranteed, a contract on par with San Diego's Antonio Gates.
At just 25 years of age, Miller is quietly one of the best young tight ends in the business and replaced Gates as a pro-bowler last year. An elite pass catcher and the top receiving threat on the Raiders, he's also a great blocker who Darren McFadden can thank for his breakout season.
In spite of injuries that plagued the second half of his 2010 season, Miller caught 60 passes for 685 yards and 5 touchdowns from a combination of Jason Campbell and Bruce Gradkowski.
Is this a good move for Seattle?
People will obviously wonder about what this means for John Carlson, the former second round pick out of Notre Dame. Now 27, he's actually older than Miller, but will fit in nicely as the second tight end.
Not so much an indictment on Carlson as much as looking for the best players available, the Seahawks look to be playing a lot of two-tight end sets, a trend that could be growing based on the Patriots' use of Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski.
However, the signing should definitely put Carlson on notice, as his blocking needs to improve and he is a product of the former regime.
Miller adds additional size to a suddenly monstrous receiving corps: 6'4 Sidney Rice, 6'5 Mike Williams, 6'5 Kris Durham and the two 6'5 tight ends.
On a team that is suddenly looking like the offspring of the Minnesota Vikings and Oakland Raiders fathered by Carroll, Miller joins fellow ex-Raiders Tom Cable and Robert Gallery- no doubt a selling point when he was being convinced.
Seahawks fans have to be elated by this move, another sign that the offense could lead the team to playoff contention. With a young but solid offensive line, big wide receivers, an elite tight end and Marshawn Lynch and Justin Forsett out of the backfield, this team is a solid QB away from borderline juggernaut status.
Fantasy enthusiasts can't be happy about the move, but Miller could be a check-down option and a safety blanket for whoever lines up behind center.
On a related note, the Seahawks are also interested in dealing for the disgruntled Osi Umenyiora of the New York Giants. Searching for a tight end, the Giants could be enticed by a deal involving John Carlson.
The Seahawks continue the offseason as one of the biggest winners in the free agency period, and should be favored to win the NFC West after their recent acquisitions.
A quick turn of events since Sunday, when it was assumed that Miller would return to Oakland, the Seattle Seahawks continue to turn pipe dreams into reality.
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