By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Saturday, April 23rd, 2011 at 9:32 am in Oakland Raiders.
Tight end Zach Miller has switched agencies, according to Profootballtalk.com (by way of the Sports Business Journal), going from Athletes First to CAA.
Athletes first, headed by Tom Condon, also represents cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha and free safety Michael Huff. Asomugha will almost assuredly depart if and when free agency begins, and the Raiders have also prepared themselves for the possibility that Huff leaves as well by signing Hiram Eugene to a four-year contract (a deal that would also be comfortable if he’s a non-starter).
I wouldn’t read too much into the change with regard to Miller staying in Oakland. First, if free agency does not allow four-year players to be unrestricted, Miller will likely be tied to the Raiders with the first- and third-round tender that was extended before the lockout.
Second, the Raiders seldom lose players they intend on keeping. They simply write the check. Right or wrong, once Asomugha’s deal voided, Al Davis made a conscious decision to use that money to sign other players _ and locked up players on his own roster _ most notably Richard Seymour and Stanford Routt. With Huff, expect the Raiders to let the market dictate whether they’ll stay in the game. If Dallas or any other team comes up huge, Huff will end up elsewhere.
The tender given Miller is a sure sign they’ll be aggressive in bringing him back, regardless of his representation. In those instances, the Raiders usually get their man, even if conventional wisdom is they overpaid to get it done.
A side note regarding Jackson’s fairly non-committal “who knows?” response to retaining Asomugha:
It makes no sense to make a public parting of the ways with a prospective free agent. Keep in mind there’s an outside chance that if the lockout drags on into September, an agreement could include free agents returning to their old teams for a year and free agency starting in 2012.