Based on a phone interview I had with Zach Miller, it sounds like the Raiders coaching staff and teammates were reaching out in a way owner Al Davis did not.
Bottom line is the Raiders took care of the unrestricted free agents Davis thought most important and showed them the (guaranteed) money _ Kamerion Wimbley ($29 million), Richard Seymour ($22.5 million) and Stanford Routt ($20 million). Miller got $17 millon guaranteed from Seattle, so it’s safe to assume Oakland was offering less.
Some of Miller’s thoughts:
–“Coach (Tom) Cable gave me a call Saturday morning and saw I wasn’t signed yet, kind of feeling the Raiders would have done it by then. He said, `We want you here and I’m going to make a push to get you here.’
“I took a visit, and my wife and I just loved it. I’m still kind of blown away about what an an amazing place it is and we feel it’s the best fit.”
– “Football’s a business and I know that first-hand. When I was going into the last year of my rookie deal I was hoping to get extended and get a long term contract and it didn’t happen. Then the season ended and was expecting a deal and it didn’t happen, either.
“Throughout the process I was expecting it and it just never happened. I thought I’d get an extension and it never materialized.”
In the end, it didn’t matter how many times Hue Jackson, tight ends coach Adam Henry or teammates called to tell Miller how much he was wanted. Davis simply was not going to pay a tight end the same kind of money he was for a pass rusher, an established potential Hall of Fame defensive tackle and a speedy cornerback.
And Miller and the two best hands in the organization are now in Seattle.
Here’s a link to my story currently running on the Web site