2011 Oakland Raiders Free Agency: Zach Who? Raiders Replace Him with Kevin Boss

I'm just going to stop trying to figure out the Raiders free agnecy moves—especially when it comes to the tight end. I made a point of telling everyone not to worry about Zach Miller. "Just be patient, and he'll sign soon," I said. Well he signed soon, but with another team. Then this morning I wrote about the fact that free agent Kevin Boss no longer seemed to be in play for joining the Raiders, and a couple of hours later, he was an Oakland Raider!

Kevin Boss reportedly signed for four years and $16 million. I love this move. Zach who? While the 6'6 and 255 pound Boss may not be able to do the same damage in the pass game as Miller, he is a superior blocker. And that is not to say Boss is a slouch in the receiving department. He is coming off of a season where he had 35 catches for 531 yards and five touchdowns. That is just 154 fewer yards and the same amount of touchdowns as Zach Miller had in 2010.

Boss is just 27, and he has been fairly durable. He has played in 15 of 16 regular season games in each of the last three seasons. I love this signing. Boss' extra blocking will benefit the run and pass game. However, while Boss is a solid receiver, there are two ways in which this offense is going to miss Miller.

1) Miller almost always had a safety keeping an eye on him while someone else tried to guard him. Obviously this helped open up the passing offense to the deep outside. 

2) Miller was a man possessed when he caught the ball and saw the first down marker. Time and time again, Miller would catch a pass 5-10 yards short of the first down stripe, and the dude would turn into Jim Brown.

Enough of that though—he is gone, and I no longer care! Boss at four years and $16 million sounds better to me than Zach at five years and $34 million.

*Courtesy of Ozraider: Zach also had 91 targets compared to Boss’ 69. Zach's YPC was 11.4 compared to Boss’ 15.2. Kevin also had only 2 less 20+ yard catches than Zach. And both had 5 TD’s.

Jump over for ESPN's scouting report of Boos if you haven't seen it. But first from one Boss to another the Raiders are now the Badlands for opponents.

Here is ESPN's take:

Boss continues to be a consistent performer. He is a big, strong player with deceptive speed and quickness. He is a physical blocker and is able to set the edge in the running game. Boss understands leverage and angles. He has reliable hands as a receiver and is a solid route runner for his size. He can break arm tackles but will not make a defender miss. Kevin Boss has developed his overall game each of his four years in the league.

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