When it comes to unrestricted free agents few have ever been considered as big a lock to return to their team as Zach Miller is to return the Oakland Raiders. By all accounts the Raiders love Miller and Miller loves the Raiders. And this is not a scenario where players get out of Al Davis' grip.
And that is all good with Raider Nation. Zach Miller is Kentucky Fried Chicken awesome. He is one of the best tight ends in the NFL, and he has been, not only the Raiders best tight end, but also their best receiver. What I am wondering though is at what point would it be cost prohibitive to bring him back?
Any team that is looking to upgrade at tight end this offseason is going to start with Zach Miller. Some of these teams are going to have a boatload of money to spend.
Now, I have no idea if Miller is willing to give the Raiders a discount. But for the sake of this hypothetical let's assume that the Raiders will have to match any offer he receives. At what point is it not worth it?
Just for a frame of reference, a tight end playing on the franchise tag in 2011 would be due roughly $7.5 million. A wide receiver on the franchise tag will be close to $12 million. Jump over....
At 26, Miller is still young enough that a seven year deal is not out of the question. Although he does have some injury concerns. He had the foot problems last year and he has had a couple of concussions. So, in order to keep this poll manageable let's just say Miller is going to get a five year deal.
The other thing when discussing contracts is it is really all about the guaranteed money. That is what drives the cap number for a player and what the player looks for first when signing a contract. There are numerous ways teams can do this to have a wide variance in cap numbers per year.
But I just want to get a general idea on what we think Zach Miller is worth. What percentage of a team's salary is a really good tight end worth? So, let's just do this with average annual salaries.
So, $7 million a year? Hell yes! $7.5 million a year? You betchya! $8 million a year? A tentative yes. $8.5 million a year? I am leaning towards no. I love Zach Miller. He is a huge part of this offense, but for $8.5 million you can get a solid starting tight end and a good starter at another position.
What do you think? At what point would you let Miller walk away?