LINK: http://seahawksdraftblog.com/proposal-s ... one-target
You can make a pretty strong case to argue Zach Miller has been a terrific addition to this team — even without the big stats to back it up.
There is a ‘but’, however…
Miller is far from an elite player. He isn’t a big time difference maker.
His contract suggests he should be.
The most expensive player on Seattle’s 2013 roster was — you guessed it — Zach Miller.
And it wasn’t even close.
His $11m salary was $1.5m more expensive than #2 on the list — Russell Oking ($9.5m). Marshawn Lynch at #3 accounted for $2.5m LESS than Miller.
Rob Gronkowski’s cap hit in 2013 was $2.75m having recently signed an 8-year $55m mega-deal in New England. That steadily increase as you’d expect. Yet during the entire course of that contract, he doesn’t top Miller’s 2013 salary until 2019 ($11.25m cap hit) — the final year of the deal.
Even with Miller’s contract dropping to a $7m cap hit in 2014, he’ll still earn $1.6m more than Gronkowski next season.
As much as I appreciate the job he’s done in Seattle, his attitude and contribution to this young team — he’s simply earning far too much for a tight end who hasn’t topped 400 yards in three seasons.
In comparison, a tight end drafted in the #28-34 region could be expected to earn around $1.25m as a rookie and $1.5m as a second year player.
That’s a huge difference.
You can save $5m by cutting Miller ($7m cap hit, $2m in dead money). So you’re talking about a $4m overall saving by replacing him with one of the tight ends in this rookie class.
That’s money that could go towards keeping Golden Tate and/or Michael Bennett.
It really comes down to determining just how valuable you believe the 28-year-old is to the offense, compared to how effective a rookie can be as an immediate starter.