NFL Signings: Zach Miller Mean the End for John Carlson with Seattle Seahawks?

Sean LarsonContributor IIIAugust 3, 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

The Seahawks have been making a lot of noise this offseason with the recent signings of players like Tarvaris Jackson, Sidney Rice and Robert Gallery. Now add Zach Miller to that list.

On Tuesday, the Seahawks landed the top pass-catching tight end of the free-agent market when they signed Miller to a five-year, $34 million deal with $17 million guaranteed.

This is bad news for current Seahawks tight end John Carlson, who has been the starter in Seattle since being drafted by the organization in the second round of the 2008 draft.

Last season, Carlson had the worst season of his young career, catching just 31 passes for 318 yards and one touchdown. In his first two seasons in the league, Carlson averaged 53 receptions for just over 600 yards and six touchdowns.

Some are speculating that Miller was brought in to replace Carlson, who is entering the final year of his contract.

While Carlson had decent seasons in 2008 and 2009, Miller is definitely an upgrade at the position for Seattle.

Miller was a Pro Bowl selection last season after catching 60 passes for 685 yards and five touchdowns. He was even better in 2009, catching 66 passes for 805 yards.

While many people believe that Miller will be Carlson's replacement, Seahawks head coach Peter Carroll said that anyone who thinks that "doesn't get it." He says that the move adds depth and flexibility to the offense and will allow Seattle to use two tight ends in a number of different packages.

Whichever scenario is true right now, the signing of Miller means that Carlson is now expendable, and the fourth-year tight end out of Notre Dame could be offered in a trade.

Recent trade rumors have surfaced involving Giants defensive end Osi Umenyiora, who is unhappy with his contract which is scheduled to pay him $8 million over the next two years.

ESPN's John Clayton believes that the Seahawks could offer Carlson, along with a second or third-round draft pick, to the Giants for Umenyiora.

The Giants could lose tight end Kevin Boss due to his high price tag, and Carlson could be a good replacement if Boss leaves New York.

In a perfect world, Zach Miller would continue improving on his already solid numbers, Carlson would return to form in his contract year, and the Seahawks would have a two-headed monster at tight end.

Regardless of John Carlson and how he performs this season, the Seahawks added another offensive threat by bringing in Zach Miller. Seattle now has multiple targets for Tarvaris Jackson, and with a little luck, the Seahawks might just turn some heads again in 2011.