Seahawks Insider

Zach Miller restructures his deal (update)

Post by Dave Boling / The News Tribune on March 15, 2014 at 10:23 am with 79 Comments »
March 15, 2014 12:54 pm
Seahawks tight end Zach Miller breaks loose on a pass reception during the Monday Night Football game against the New Orleans Saints at CenturyLink Field in Seattle on Monday, Dec. 2, 2013.
Seahawks tight end Zach Miller breaks loose on a pass reception during the Monday Night Football game against the New Orleans Saints at CenturyLink Field in Seattle on Monday, Dec. 2, 2013.

Update: The team has confirmed that Zach Miller has restructured his contract with the Seahawks.

Just a quick post after seeing word at My Northwest.com that the Seahawks restructured the contract of Zach Miller and will have him for two more seasons.

Miller seemed a likely cap casualty since the end of the season. He’d played three seasons on a big contract that was front-loaded and had a roster bonus due. By restructuring, he will remain an important cog in both the running and passing games for the Hawks. Although he missed a couple games this season and was often not at full speed, he had 33 catches and five touchdowns.

I’d suggest that a bonus to this signing is that keeping Miller helps retain some of the valuable veteran leadership that’s been important in that locker room. Red Bryant can be replaced on the field, but his leadership was enormous. He’ll be missed in that regard specifically. Miller is a quiet leader who is very well-respected. He came in with a big contract and a Pro Bowl resume, but had no ego when he was asked for forget about catching passes and serve as an extra linemen when the blocking was shaky. The stability he adds is crucial.

Ian Rapoport reported that the deal calls for Miller to make $3 million each year, and up to $4 million thanks to incentives. Miller’s prior contract would have caused a $7 million cap hit in 2014, when he was set to make $5.8 million with a $1 million roster bonus.

It keeps their starting tight end — who has multiple duties in the Seahawks’ offense — in the mix and provides Seattle a salary cap break as they work toward extensions for Earl Thomas and Richard Sherman.

Miller will again head a tight group with his experience, be backed up by Luke Willson and Anthony McCoy, and allow the Seahawks possibly to take a flyer on Jermichael Finley, whose health is a question after he had spinal fusion surgery last season.

Leave a comment Comments → 79
  1. Ray_Maines says:

    Great news.

    I still wouldn’t be too surprised if another TE is added, maybe even ASJ in the first round of the draft.

  2. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Yes, great news.

  3. juliusvrooder says:

    Thank you Jermichael Finley. This is awesome.

  4. ASJ is not as good as some think….

  5. I like this move tbh. Miller has been so clutch at times and is a good blocker. The veteran aspect is just one more reason.

  6. djbargelt says:

    One of my favorite Seahawks. Zach is a solid player and an excellent human being. Way to go Zach and JS!

  7. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Man I’m glad to be just a TNT Seahawk GM. I would have drafted Weeden instead of Wilson.

    Cleveland Browns Brandon Weeden tribute video-

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T8SsCqpa-Lk

  8. Excellent news! Didn’t realize he played 58 out of 60 offensive snaps in SB.

  9. Excellent.. wish Clem had done the same

  10. This is/was the ideal scenario. Zach is awesome and I love him… but I don’t love him to the tune of $7 million per year because I don’t think he’s worth that kind of dough.

    However, you know his agent went out and found what other teams would give him and he realized that Seattle, even with a paycut, was still the best place for him to be (and win). Making what he’s making is still great money for 99.99% of Americans.

    This couldn’t have worked out any better!

  11. I wish Red would’ve restructured to stay, too.

  12. I’m still on the Jared Allen train (short term contract only) if we’re going to sign anyone but I’d consider this off-season a success up until the draft if we can “only” get ET and Sherm signed to extentions. Those two are the very definition of “core” players.

  13. GeorgiaHawk says:

    It would be awesome to sign Allen even if it’s for just one year.

  14. Would love to get Allen as well but it looks like he’s asking for $12 million per year.

  15. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Zach Miller living proof that it isn’t always about money.

    If I had to choose between more money in a city like Detroit for my family or a safer place to live in a city like Seattle for my family I would make the smart choice like Miller did.

  16. GeorgiaHawk says:

    I would give Allen a one year deal. 8 mil guaranteed, 10 mil if he gets 12 sacks and 12 mil if he gets 15 or more sacks.

    It’s very important to lock up Thomas but Sherman can wait tell next year.

  17. Allen turned down a 3 year, $30m contract from Denver. I have no idea what the guaranteed money was. Maybe it was low.

    He has made over $75m in career earnings to this point. Instead of looking at getting a ring and his legacy, he’s more interested in squeezing out every last penny he can.

    That, my friends, is the very definition of a “pig.”

  18. I’m sure with the money Tate is making, he’s going to be living in a gated “secure” place, even in Detroit. C’mon man, really he’s going to be less safe?

  19. If both are healthy, I’d pick Melton over Jared Allen in a heartbeat.

  20. No way I would. And it’s not even close.

  21. kurtisballard says:

    Was Zach Miller going to get much more on the open market, though? Golden Tate got a LOT more money from the Lions than he would have from the Seahawks. And it’s not like Golden is going to move his family into downtown Detroit. Do any Seahawks even actually live in Seattle? With that contract, I’m guessing GT will find a decent suburb to raise a family, if raising a family is in his plans.

  22. Allen didn’t turn down that contract, they dangled it and then signed Ware. If he doesn’t get what he wants he will retire. How’s that being a pig? If he doesn’t feel he is going to be fairly compensated, why put your health on the line? For the fans? Gimme a break…

  23. montanamike2 says:

    Zach Miller is a true Seahawks hero!
    He already made his money and this won’t be chump change either, but he showed he cares more about keeping a good thing going. I think Allen is better than Melton too.

  24. “Fairly compensated”

    The Broncos offered the contract, he felt it wasn’t enough and the Broncos smartly moved on to Ware. Now, no one is even offering him a contract.

    If he doesn’t want to put his health on the line, he should just retire. He’s already banked $75+ million. What’s another $10 million when it comes to his health? Your reasoning is flawed.

  25. Singularitarian says:

    Lol. A pig? Hahahaha. That is probably the dumbest thing ive heard on here in a long time. In other words, “play for the team I as a fan like for cheap, a team you have no ties to, and get a ring the cheap way, or else you are a “pig”.” You do realize that we’re talking about real money right? I’ll live in Detroit for 6 months for 6 mill a year anytime. ANYTIME

  26. I’m not a Broncos fan. Allen had the perfect opportunity with them and he pigged out.

    Tate, on the other hand, was right for taking the money. He’s never had his payday and now was his time.

  27. montanamike2 says:

    Agreed Pabs.

  28. grizindabox24 says:

    MN is correct, the Broncos did not officially offer the 3yr/$30M deal to Allen, so no way he could turn it down. I actually have seen it mentioned that Allen’s camp tossed the 3yr/$30M number out. But when Ware became available, the Broncos left Allen.

  29. Singularitarian says:

    All this talk of why players should come here for cheap. I have always thought that a good player that has to run to a great team for cheap to get a ring is pretty lame. No I can see a Melton coming here on a prove it contract, or a player who’s been here staying cheap. But I personally wouldnt want to get a ring the fake way

  30. Ian Rapoport ✔ @RapSheet

    That deal Broncos signed Ware to? They had the same 3-year, $30M deal on the table for Jared Allen. DEN waited to see who was free. Ware was
    2:22 PM – 12 Mar 2014

    “Oink Oink”

  31. grizindabox24 says:

    pabs, it still does not say Allen turned it down. It also does not make any mention if the gtd $$ was the same.

  32. freedom_X says:

    Unfortunatly, Red Bryant’s contract was structured with such a big “dead money” cap hit that Bryant pretty much would have had to take minimum wage to allow Seattle to realize significant savings. He never would have gotten anything near what he got from Jacksonville.

    It’s why Bryant said Seattle never made him a renegotiation offer. I don’t think Seattle ever expected to let Bryant go this soon, which is why the deal was structured that way. So they let him go ASAP so Bryant could get the best deal he could. They knew they could not bring him back without making an insulting offer.

    As should be obvious by now, none of the big names are taking Wal-Mart discounts to come to Seattle. Quality of life? Maybe the rain depresses them.

  33. freedom_X says:

    Keep the “Allen will come to Seattle for pennies because he wants to play for a winner” illusion alive.

    Of all the veteran big name free agents, he’s the only one who’s publicly declared he won’t take a cheap contract and would rather sit out or retire.

    Never mind that the older Julius Peppers just signed a 3 year deal between $25-30 million.

    Allen will want to sign a 1 year deal with Seattle for far less because he wants to play for a winner and Seattle is so much nicer.

  34. GeorgiaHawk says:

    TruBlu- C’mon man. Lol.

    And someone was actually posting a few threads back that he/she thinks that Tate would have still chosen Detroit over San Francisco if San Francisco made the same offer.

    http://theeconomiccollapseblog.com/archives/bankrupt-decaying-and-nearly-dead-24-facts-about-the-city-of-detroit-that-will-shock-you

  35. I am going to guess the Seahawks would offer Allen the Cliff Avril 2 year, $15m contract which places Allen in the top 12 of all DEs. That won’t be enough for him, because he wants more. Maybe he didn’t make enough on his last contract.

    What’s the definition of a discount? The amount lower than what HE thinks he should be paid or the amount lower than what OTHER teams are willing to pay him? If it’s the latter than he won’t be taking much of a discount, if any. But we all know it’s the former because he wants to pig out on his last contract.

  36. Singularitarian says:

    Awesome that Miller restructured officially. Not sure the exact cap hit numbers.but it seems significant. I wonder if they were just buffing with Finley so Miller would restucture?

  37. yakimahawk says:

    Most Players are about the money, Red and Clem were both asked to restructure and neither would, it is on the players! Zach is now a Seahawks hero, no ego and wants to win. JS/PC are about players who want to win forever and want to be a team not an individual. They want what all of the fans do…SUPER BOWL WINS! Thanks you Zach Miller you just showed a lot of people what team first means!!

  38. I’m sure Miller made the call to Gus Bradley when the Seahawks approached him with a pay cut just like Clemons and Bryant did when they were approached. Gus told him they wouldn’t make him whole like they did with the 2 DL so Miller took the paycut.

    But if Gus would have made Miller whole like he did with the other 2, Miller would be down there.

  39. Singularitarian says:

    Lol, Miller just realized he wouldn’t make more being cut and picked up. Not like he really had a choice

  40. Miller made the key block in Houston that allowed RW to get a 1st down on 4th and 3.

  41. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Another thing about players that stay with Super Bowl contenders for less money is that they have a chance to get more money through endorsements.

    I doubt Lynch gets his Skittles endorsement if he played for Detroit or Cleveland.
    Would Coleman get his endorsement deal if he played for a crappy team in a crappy city?

    Would Wilson and/or Sherman have as many endorsement deals?

    I wonder how many possible endorsement deals Tate will lose now?

    No doubt Tate deserved to get paid however I wonder if had thought it through a few more days would he make the same decision?

  42. freedom_X says:

    McCoy isn’t a lock to make the team. A healthy Finley could well displace McCoy on the roster.

    Miller is much more important to a run-oriented offense. Miller can block and is (at least) an above-average receiving threat. You can get a blocking TE for near minimum wage, but if they’re no threat to catch the ball, the defense can cheat. Bring a player closer to the line of scrimmage, or use a slower run-stuffing LB to cover. I cannot see Finley replacing Miller unless the offensive emphasis changes from run to pass.

    The combo of blocking and receiving threat is why Miller is a very important lock-in for Seattle. If Seattle’s offensive line ever gels right from the get-go of next season, you’ll see Miller’s receiving numbers go up a lot.

  43. GeorgiaHawk says:

    How does anyone know Miller couldn’t get more than 3 to 4mil from another team out there?

    There’s no info at all that says he talked to this team or that team.

  44. freedom_X says:

    The endorsement angle is heavily overrated. Probably only 2 or 3 guys on the whole Seattle team will make more than $1 million in endorsements in the year following the Super Bowl. Wilson, Sherman, and to a much lesser extent, Lynch. National endorsements bring in the six and seven figure numbers.

    Russell Wilson’s estimated endorsement income for the past year was $1 million. How many of Seattle’s players, even after the Super Bowl, are going to anything close to Wilson’s popularity?

    The idea that non-superstars are going to rake in millions in endorsement money has no basis in fact. Most of the endorsements are local. How much money do you think Beacon Plumbing is paying?

  45. Pabs doesn’t need “info” or “facts” Georgia. He is simply “sure” Miller called Gus Bradley. He also knows what Jared Allen is thinking even though he has made no public statements in weeks. A lot of people on this blog are just brilliant football minds. Just ask them.

  46. WilliamPercival says:

    If Miller camp truly did call Bradley camp, it’s called tampering. Miller was never out of his contract. Hawks played this beautifully. Great deal for both sides.

  47. EzraMelech says:

    Let me say first I LOVE this blog. That being said, why is it that whenever someone disagree’s with another 90% of people resort to “attacking” the other person. We are all individuals, and are all entitled to their opinion. Now, do some people make idiotic, stupid, uninformed statements “YES”!!!! But what good does it do ANYONE to attack that person, when it’s obvious they are uninformed or delusional. (I’m not naming names or pointing any fingers btw)

    Different people here will also have differing opinions on who is delusional. Honestly guys, this is the forum for anyone and everyone to express their opinion and consult with like minded individuals. If you disagree with someone by all means say so, but don’t resort to insults, attacks, name calling etc.

    I honestly wish more people would follow the rule, if you don’t have something nice to say KEEP IT TO YOURSELF. I disagree with much of what i read here. But I still enjoy coming and reading and finding out what others think. I don’t post a lot, but i’m sure many of you disagree with my points of view.

    Thats ok, lets just agree to disagree with one another ok? No more attack posts…..

    My2CentsWorth

  48. vichawkfan says:

    I won’t be surprised if Sherm and ET get their extensions shortly, before any major signing like Allen. I couldn’t imagine handing Allen 10 mill and leaving Sherman on his 600k or whatever it is. There would be blood in the streets (locker room )

  49. vichawkfan says:

    Come on Sidney

    @DougBaldwinJr: Won’t you come back, come back, come back… @sidneyrice

  50. WilliamPercival says:

    Interesting look at the many deals our good ol’ boys have signed this week. Lots of cash flying around in FA. Glad to see we’re being patient for the 2nd wave of FA. I was surprised by how much Idzik threw at the Big Russian.

    Giacomini- CONTRACT:4 yr(s) / $18,000,000 GUARANTEED:$7,000,000

    Tate- CONTRACT:5 yr(s) / $31,000,000 GUARANTEED:$13,250,000

    McDonald- CONTRACT:4 yr(s) / $12,000,000 GUARANTEED:$4,750,000

  51. Macabrevity says:

    I know a lot of you guys are atheists/non-believers here, but I can’t think of a phrase that sums up my feelings better than ‘Thank God’

  52. thursday says:

    People get way too hung up on terms like “loyalty” when it comes to this business. Seriously doubt anyone was going to pay Miller what his original contract was. On the other hand, the Lions were obviously ready and willing to pay Tate way more than what the Seahawks were. I don’t fault him at all for taking that paycheck.

    It’s not that MIller is somehow the better person than Tate and/or “less greedy”, but rather he isn’t worth as much on the open market and most likely he knows it. Restructure, stay with a Super Bowl winning team, not a bad deal.

  53. DreadHawks says:

    Apparently Melton is still in Seattle. Was supposed to be in route to Dallas. Hmmmm

  54. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Of course non-superstar players aren’t going to make near as much as Superstars when it comes to endorsements, however a player like Tate could make enough to fill the gap between what the Seahawks offered and what he got from Detroit imo.

    Wilson and Sherman right now make more from endorsements than they do from the Seahawks ,and Wilson has a good chance to make more than Brees ,( who makes a whopping 11 million a year in endorsements).

    Not a bad incentive to stay with a Super Bowl contending team for a home town discount don’t you think?

    http://seattletimes.com/html/businesstechnology/2022756701_seahawksmoneyxml.html

  55. Dukeshire says:

    Red and Clem were released, Miller was not, that’s an important distinction when hypothesizing about reaching out to Bradley. Moreover, what evidence is there to support the claim Clem or Red (or both) called him and not the other way around?

  56. GeorgiaHawk says:

    Apparently thurday knows what Miller is thinking too MNHawk, and what his value is even though there is nothing out there saying Miller shopped around to see if he could get more. Lol.

    Can anyone here honestly say that they thought Schofield would get offered 4 million a year by a team?

    Yes I know it fell through because he didn’t pass their physical, however he would have signed if he had passed it.

    Imo, one or more of those 31 other teams would have paid Miller more.
    How much more? Who knows.

  57. Well said, EzraMelech.

  58. grizindabox24 says:

    This is Pabs world and we are all just living in it…

  59. Singularitarian says:

    where’d you hear that DreadHawks?

  60. grizindabox24 says:

    Sing, think he is referencing this tweet

    Calvin Watkins ‏@calvinwatkins 5h
    No Cowboys visit scheduled today for DT Henry Melton.

  61. http://www.nfl.com/freeagency

    It says he’s still in Seattle.

  62. grizindabox24 says:

    Danny Kelly ‏@FieldGulls 1m
    Report: Henry Melton was still in Seattle as of this morning, situation fluid

  63. Singularitarian says:

    The more I think about it the more I want Melton on this team. That would be so awesome to get some more proven depth there. Him and Bane with Michael Bennett on 2nd and 8? Yes please!

  64. Yes!! Great News!

  65. grizindabox24 says:

    Erskine Hinds ‏@ErskineTheGreat 14m
    Source: DT Henry Melton’s agents are in serious contract negotiations with the Seattle #Seahawks #NFLFreeAgency

  66. seahawkfan97 says:

    again…well said ezra…go hawks….what a nerve racking time…oh wait we are superbowl champs..I so miss them season tickets…Bonneville dam it anyhow….

  67. I’m really hoping the Hawks land Melton, and Millers restructuring is to make some cap room for Melton. He’d definitely would be a big addition at a steal of a price due to injury, and he would get a chance to shine on the best defense in the NFL. Can’t wait for the NFL draft.

  68. montanamike2 says:

    GeorgiaHawk i think you’re right about Lynch and the skittle endorsement. If we win another SB there will be a lot more Seahawks cashing in. The reason Miller was cool is because he already made his guaranteed money, so i don’t really blame Tate because he hasn’t made anything yet, he’ll still be Robin to Megatron’s Batman and won’t have the same impact in Detroit. I’m sure he’ll be successful, but not a star in the making.

  69. Red says that the Hawks didn’t ask him to restructure. We don’t know if Clem was. Assumptions aren’t facts.

    I believe I would be more interested in playing for a good team than making as much money as possible if I was in Allen’s situation, but I’m not going to bag on the guy for making his own decision. Not sure that winning is really a more nobler pursuit than money anyways.

  70. Jared Allen is the best pass rusher still out there, which makes the thought of him on our D so tantalizing.

    But IMO Henry Melton is a much better all around player. Then, we can put Melton in with Bane inside, put Avril at LEO and Bennett as the other bookend. Irv could be the nickel changeup to Bennett, with MB moving inside for Bane on third downs. All relatively young and at reasonable numbers. That would indeed be a coup for John Schneider.

    BTW, Auburn Hills is a very nice suburb near Detroit. I had friends who lived there, and it rivals any other nice burb out there.

  71. freedom_X says:

    Depends on what you call “cashing in.” Joe Flacco was the winning Super Bowl QB last year, made $850,000 in endorsements. That’s the Super Bowl winning QB, not the #2 receiver or a defensive lineman.

    Wilson and Sherman will make big bucks (over $1 million.) Lynch maybe a million. No one else will be even close. They are leveraging personality traits that already made them desirable to advertisers.

    Anyone who thinks Golden Tate would have made $6 million+ in endorsement money over the 5 years needs to actually look at what NFL players really get in endorsement income. You’ll see lots of big names with Super Bowl rings who aren’t getting anything remotely close to that.

  72. I love the internet folk that talk how Red was approached to restructure and declined. Then Red says they never asked him. Stop talking like you have inside information.

  73. Tate absolutely made the right decision. Let’s say he took a pay cut to stay here. There is no loyalty in the NFL so next year they decide to cut him. Or trade him. He has already set his value when he took the pay cut so now he has to live with that reduction in income for the next few years, while playing for some other team. He is in the prime of his career, pretty close to the peak of his earning power, he would be dumb to devalue himself too much at this point. Miller on the other hand, can afford to take a pay cut since he is starting year #7 and has earned more than $15M in his career.

    Yeah, we would all like this to be a sport where everyone plays just for winning. But as we all know this is a business for owners, team, and players. Tate (and Red) realized that and did what they felt was right. I don’t have a problem with that.

  74. Hammajamma says:

    Melton > Allen

  75. my opinion is that Rice and Red weren’t asked to reduce as they were released right away. On the other hand Clemons and Miller were targets but not released right away. Later Clemons released I opin because he turned down the reduction while Miller was willing to reduce and took a bit longer to work through the details.

  76. In past yrs FA was a time we hoped to strengthen our weak spots. This yr my hope was just to mauntain given I saw few weak spots outside our OL, but felt we’d only be able to shore that up thru draft. Sure there were some subtle positions we could upgrade but the improvement would not be worth its cost. Seems to me last offseason we had weakness at DL and WR in addition to OL. We added Harvin, Bennett, Avril, McDaniel to improve 2 of the 3. With Rice/Tate and Red/Clem/McDonald gone, we have just given up the gain from last yrs FA.

    I;m nervous cause now anything short of the SB is a failure. Before the draft I hope for 3 things that’ll make me feel easier;
    1. Sign Haushka
    2. Resign Rice
    3. Sign either Melton or Allen

    Those 3 moves will retain the gains we made from last yrs FA and allow us to focus on the OL in the draft. To heck with a repeat, I’m lookin to 3-peat in the SB! GO HAWKS!

  77. I’m envious of anyone who can pull down millions of dollars per year, but I do not begrudge the players for getting everything they can. By many reports, they live in pain most of the season, if not many years afterwards, not to mention the risk of CTE.

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