I sense a twinge of panic creeping up the spine of Raider Nation. Shake it off. It's alright. He will be back, and he is getting cheaper by the minute. Teams clearly have devalued the tight end position. There are a lot of quality young tight ends out there, and no one is willing to invest big money in a tight end.
There really have been zero rumors on Miller. There does not appear to be a team making a hard push to swoop in and take Miller, and isn't this the only thing we were worried about being the one scenario that would find Miller playing for any other team than the Raiders? Nothing has changed since then. Jump over for more....One unnamed Raider teammate said he wasn't sure that Miller returning was a guarantee, but that is far from a giant red flag. The one worry that had crossed my mind was that there was a long term concern with his injured foot, but it seems that word of that would have leaked to the press by now.
I think the Raiders are just being patient. Free agents cannot hit the practice field until August 4th, which is the same date that teams must be under the salary cap. I expect Miller to be signed between August 3rd-5th.
The Raiders are going to lock Zach Miller up for a long time. As their free agency plan takes shape over the next few days they will have a good idea of the best way to structure Miller's contract. Things will become clear. How much can they pay him this year? How much of his contract should be a signing bonus? Should the bulk of his payment be a second year roster bonus?
Remember the brilliant post by brhynno about the Raiders need to exercise patience? That is exactly what we are seeing now. This is not a sign for concern, but one to foster confidence.
If we get to August 6th and he isn't signed I may start to get a little worried, but until then I have zero concern that Miller will not be back, and it looks like the market is making him cheaper than we anticipated.