Posted by Ryan Wilson
It's sometimes easy to get lost in the maelstrom that is Oakland Raiders football, but tight end Zach Miller was one of the most underrated players at his position during his four-year NFL career. And now he'll take his game some 800 miles north to Seattle where the Seahawks have reached an agreement with the former second-round pick out of Arizona State, the Associated Press is reporting.
ESPN's Adam Schefter tweets that the deal is for five years, worth $34 million, and includes $17 million in guarantees.
Miller joins Tarvaris Jackson and Sidney Rice as the newest faces on Seattle's offense, and he'll team up with another young tight end with unlimited potential: John Carlson who, because of injuries, changing schemes and quarterbacks, has seen his reception totals decline in each of his three NFL seasons.
On Monday before Miller had agreed to terms but after it was announced he was visiting Seattle, ESPN.com's Mike Sando detailed the plan for Carlson and the Seahawks' tight ends in 2011: "[New offensive coordinator Darrell] Bevell is implementing an offense similar to the one Mike Holmgren ran in Seattle when Holmgren pushed the team to make Carlson a second-round draft choice. That angle still might come into play, but Carlson isn't the only receiving tight end the Seahawks are considering as they move through the early stages of training camp."
In terms of raw numbers, Miller has 226 career receptions for 2,712 yards and 12 touchdowns, and he hauled in 60 catches for 685 yards (5 TDs) in 2010. Carlson, meanwhile, has 137 receptions for 1,519 yards and 13 touchdowns, including 31 catches for 318 yards (1 TD) a season ago.
Miller will be reunited with Tom Cable, the new Seattle assistant head coach/offensive line and former Raiders head coach.
In other Seahawks personnel news (via the AP): Defensive end Jimmy Wilkerson has also signed with the team. He spent last season with New Orleans, but his best seasons came in 2008 and 2009 with Tampa Bay when he worked with new Seattle defensive line coach Todd Wash. Wilkerson started a career-high 15 games in 2009 and had career bests in tackles (46) and sacks (6). Wilkerson was the second defensive free agent to reach a deal with Seattle in as many days. The Seahawks brought back cornerback Kelly Jennings on Monday.
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