Part of the Bay Area News Group

Miller ‘happy’ to be back, won’t say if it will be with Raiders

By Steve Corkran
Monday, July 25th, 2011 at 5:28 pm in 2011 Preseason, Oakland Raiders.

Beat writer Jerry McDonald spoke with Raiders tight end Zach Miller by phone earlier this afternoon.  Miller sounded relieved to shed his player rep hat in favor of a football helmet. The question is, which helmet will Miller be wearing this season?

Note: The communication was actually through e-mail, not on the phone.

Miller declined comment on the upcoming free agent frenzy, in which he figures to be a pretty hot commodity. Free agency kicks off Tuesday, with the Raiders and the league’s 31 other teams free to negotiate with anyone they so choose. However, no deals can be finalized until 3 p.m. on Friday.

“I am happy we have reached a settlement that is a significant step in the process of reaching a long-term agreement benefiting fans, players, and clubs,” Miller said. ” It was a tough process, and I give credit to all the fans that were patient throughout the process.  The end result is great for football for the next 10 years.  We are excited to get back to playing the game we love.”

Naturally, the Raiders would love to see Miller in a Raiders uniform for a fifth season and beyond. It’s unclear what Miller wants to do. He is certain to have a lot of suitors. Miller led the Raiders in receiving each of the past three seasons, and he is regarded as one of the best pass-catching tight ends in the league.

Here’s an interesting thought, were the Raiders to lose Miller: Sign 10-year veteran Todd Heap, who reportedly was informed by the Baltimore Ravens on Monday that he will be released as soon as teams are allowed to purge players from their rosters.

Why Heap? For one, he still has plenty to offer. He caught 40 passes for 599 yards and five touchdowns last season. Also, Raiders head coach Hue Jackson is familiar with Heap’s ability from their days together in Baltimore.

Also worth noting is that Heap is a player the Raiders coveted in 2001. Then-coach Jon Gruden and several other Raiders front-office types believed Heap was the player the Raiders were going to draft in the first round. Ultimately, Raiders managing general partner Al Davis opted for safety Derrick Gibson.

Coincidentally, Miller and Heap attended Arizona State, and Miller has said in the past that he patterned his game after Heap.

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  • BrotherCanYouSpareADime

    Awesome!

  • BrotherCanYouSpareADime

    Here’s an interesting thought, were the Raiders to lose Miller: Sign 10-year veteran Todd Heap, who reportedly was informed by the Baltimore Ravens on Monday that he will be released as soon as teams are allowed to purge players from their rosters.
    ________________________________________

    Interesting indeed!

  • Dr. Hunter S. Thompson

    Long live Al.

  • BrotherCanYouSpareADime

    Why Heap? For one, he still has plenty to offer. He caught 40 passes for 599 yards and five touchdowns last season. Also, Raiders head coach Hue Jackson is familiar with Heap’s ability from their days together in Baltimore.

    ____________________________________________

    I like it!

  • BrotherCanYouSpareADime

    I’ll take a hard unpopular line here: If ZMiller doesn’t have the loyalty to the Raiders, wants to go after bigger dollars (his absolute right to do so), then screw that.

  • hendu

    Post5,Zack deserves to be paid,min+FAT BONUS,If AL wants him in the Silver&Black,count on it! Raiders!!!!

  • raiderfankirk

    ? For everyone. How was Miller’s last season compared to his first three?

  • raiderfankirk

    Get Heap keep Nnamdi and Huff I’m down.

  • AlRetire

    ? For everyone. How was Miller’s last season compared to his first three?

    ——————————————————–

    The difference was JaPurpDrank was throwing to him the first two…

  • 89052RAIDER

    Miller is a fine player and an absolute warrior, but we are over the cap and in desperate need of OL help. I would love to see Todd Heap in town if we lose Miller. Miller would leave a huge hole in the offense since Al insists on wasting a starting receiver slot on DHB. That being said, a healthy Schillen could be huge for the offense. Miller, Ford, Mcfadden, Bush, Schillens would be potent if we could get some OL help.

  • OnEyePirate

    Why try M. Reece out at TE? He is fast has good hands and blocks good enought.

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