By Jerry McDonald - NFL Writer
Monday, March 4th, 2013 at 9:05 pm in Oakland Raiders.
Raiders tight end Brandon Myers happened to have the best season of his career just as his contract expired.
Myers had an exquisite sense of timing with quarterback Carson Palmer and his 79 receptions (or 806 yards) were the most by any Raiders receiver since 2002 and the most for any franchise tight end since Todd Christensen had 92 receptions in 1986.
Although Myers concedes he’s new to unrestricted free agency, he’s not so sure the timing is right to return to the Raiders _ although he’s hoping for the best.
“Obviously, I’d like to stay,” Myers said by phone Monday night. “I’ve got a lot of friendships and know the coaches really well. They took a chance on me when I got drafted. I’d like to be there but it’s not looking like that right now. I guess I just have to stay patient and figure some stuff out. We’re pretty confident I’ll have ajob here in a couple of weeks, but I’ll just try to sti back and not stress about it.”
A sixth-round draft pick out of Iowa, Myers caught 32 passes in his first three seasons. It appeared he would be a starter in his third year when Zach Miller signed with Seattle, but the Raiders signed unrestricted free agent Kevin Boss instead. When given the chance to start in 2012, Myers showed an ability to find holes in zone defenses and on a snap-by-snap basis played more than he had ever played in his career.
`You work so hard in the offseason and during the season and during camp to be in that position,” Myers said. “I’ve worked extremely hard to get to that position and I just always knew that when I was given an opportunity I’d be ready and make the most of it.”
The deadline for putting franchise or transition tags on players expired Monday. Myers’ franchise tag was $5.9 million, the transition number was $5.1 million. The Raiders as of Sunday were just under $1.5 million under the cap. After dealing with contracts of players with big cap numbers such as quarterback Carson Palmer, wide receiver Darrius Heyward-Bey, defensive tackle Tommy Kelly, there might be room for Myers.
Or perhaps not.
“I’m not very familiar with this. That’s why I have an agent. I’m optimistic that they might give me an offer, but I guess they had a conversation at the combine and it didn’t sound like they were ready to do that,” Myers said. “We’ll just see where it takes is.”
The other tight ends on the roster last season, David Ausberry and Richard Gordon, did little to inspire confidence they could replicate what Myers put up in terms of production as a receiver in 2012.