Zach Miller Signs

According to Adam Schefter et al, TE Zach Miller is now a Seahawk, courtesy of a 5 year, $34 million contract with $17 million guaranteed (thanks to Zee Samnani for the contract details).  Paying a free agent tight end that much money raises questions about what the team plans to do with John Carlson, but we’ll just have to wait and see on that front.

Miller has been a dependable, sure-handed receiving threat for the Raiders since he entered the league in 2007, and his addition gives us another reason to be excited about Seatle’s offense this season.  Just take a look at the group of guys we have competing this year at the WR and TE positions:

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WR Doug Baldwin 5’10”, 189 lbs Undrafted Free Agent
Baldwin had an up and down career at Stanford, mainly due to injuries his junior season, but he’s got intelligence (4.0 GPA) and speed (4.43 in the forty) on his side.
WR Deon Butler 5’10”, 182 lbs 2 years NFL experience
We’re all familiar with Butler’s potential as a deep threat, but he appears to still have a ways to go before he’s fully recovered from the broken leg he suffered last season.  If the team decides to stick with him, he could start the year on the PUP list or even be put on IR if the doctors think a full year of recovery is in order.
WR Chris Carter 5’11”, 191 lbs Undrafted Free Agent
Carter went undrafted in 2010 due to a knee injury, but he impressed the Seahawks enough in a workout last December to get signed to a futures contract.  He isn’t the biggest or the fastest guy, but he earned praise in college for his route running and sure hands.
WR Kris Durham 6’5″, 216 lbs 4th Round Draft Pick
Durham is an exciting prospect.  He’s got great size and speed (4.43 forty), and he excels at making catches even when the pass is underthrown or otherwise off-target.  I consider him a favorite to make the 53 man roster.
WR Dominique Edison 6’2″, 204 lbs 2 years NFL experience
The Titans drafted Edison in the 6th round of the 2009 draft, and he spent his time in Tennessee on the bench before being released earlier this year.  He ran a 4.34 forty, but isn’t terribly shifty or elusive.  He nees to prove he’s not just another speed demon who can’t catch or run routes if he wants to have a chance to make the team.
WR Ricardo Lockette 6’2″, 211 lbs Undrafted Free Agent
Lockette went undrafted out of Division II school Fort Valley State, and so far he’s impressed in training camp.  He’s got speed (4.37 forty — anyone noticing a pattern here?), good hands, and moves fluidly, plus he earned a lot of praise in college for his ability to find soft spots in zone coverages.  It’s a little early to say anything definite, but he may very well end up playing himself into a roster spot.
WR Ben Obomanu 6’1″, 204 lbs 5 years NFL experience
Obomanu is a solid, dependable receiver.  He doesn’t do anything flashy, but he doesn’t really need to — he’s fast enough to get the job done, he doesn’t drop many passes, he plays with great technique, and he’s always exactly where he’s supposed to be on any given play.  I’d take a guy like him over a speedy athletic freak any day of the week.
WR Sidney Rice 6’4″, 202 lbs 4 years NFL experience
I’m not sure what to think of Rice’s acquisition just yet.  In 2009, Rice caught 83 passes for 1,312 yards and 8 touchdowns, but in his other three years in Minnesota he only averaged 21 catches and 272 yards per season.  He’s also had trouble with injuries, missing time with a knee injury in 2008 and a hip injury in 2010.  If Rice proves he can stay healthy and that 2009 wasn’t a fluke, he’ll be a great asset for the Seahawks, but I remain skeptical.
WR Isaiah Stanback 6’2″, 208 lbs 4 years NFL experience
Stanback is an intriguing prospect.  So far he’s spent his pro career floating around the bottom ends of various teams’ depth charts, but he also didn’t play wide receiver in college.  If he’s finally gotten the hang of the position, he’s got the athleticism and ability to make a strong push to make the team.  Stanback’s experience as a QB in college could open the way for some interesting offensive wrinkles, too.
WR Golden Tate 5’10”, 202 lbs 1 year NFL experience
Tate may very well be the best athlete the Seahawks have, and he did spectacular, potentially game-breaking things every time he touched the ball last season.  I’ve yet to hear much about him from training camp observers, but if he’s improved his route running and grasp of the playbook then we’ve got a whole lot of unmitigated awesome to look forward to this season.
WR Mike Williams 6’5″, 235 lbs 4 years NFL experience
Williams did great things for Seattle in 2010, and by all accounts he’s well on his way to becoming a strong leader on offense and a mentor to the younger wideouts.  I expect him to keep his starting job and improve on his performance from last year.
WR Patrick Williams 6’1″, 204 lbs 2 years NFL experience
The other WR Williams on the team has spent the last two years on Green Bay and Seattle’s practice squads.  Other than that, all I know about him is that his college career was uninspiring and he’s probably not related to Mike Williams.
TE Dominique Byrd 6’3″, 255 lbs 3(?) years NFL experience
Byrd has been kicking around the NFL since 2006.  He’s only played in 14 career games, and all of those were in 2006 and 2007.  He’s got decent speed for a tight end, but has a reputation as a poor blocker.  I wouldn’t get too attached to him.
TE John Carlson 6’5″, 251 lbs 3 years NFL experience
Everyone loves to point out that Carlson’s stats have declined every year he’s been in the league, but you know what?  So has the offense as a whole.  Carlson still has what it takes to be a legitimate receiving threat, and his blocking looked much improved last year.
TE/WR/DE/? Jameson Konz 6’3″, 234 lbs 1 year IR experience
I have no idea if Konz is going to make the team this year, and even if he does I have no idea what position he’d be playing.  At this point, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear that he’ll be competing with Coutu and Byrum to be Seattle’s new kicker.  Regardless of his position, he’s an athletic freak of nature and he could help the Seahawks in any number of ways.
TE Anthony McCoy 6’5″, 259 lbs 1 year NFL/IR experience
McCoy is another question mark.  He dropped to the sixth round in the 2010 draft because he loves the ganja, and he went on to drop a lot of passes in training camp before finally landing on IR in late November with zero stats to his name.  He’ll have to do a lot better this year to make the final roster.
TE Cameron Morrah 6’3″, 251 lbs 2 years NFL experience
I like Morrah, and I hope he makes the final cut this season.  He’s more of a giant wide receiver than he is a tight end, but he looked good in the limited opportunities he was given last year and a guy with his size and speed is every defensive back’s worst nightmare.
TE Ryan Travis 6’2″, 242 lbs Undrafted Free Agent
Travis looks to be more of an h-back.  He’s already received some praise for his ability to catch the ball in training camp, and his ability to play both the tight end and fullback position could help earn him a roster spot.

Not half bad, eh?  Yes, there are some definite camp bodies on the above list, but the majority have a real chance at playing their way on to the team in training camp this year.  When’s the first preseason game, again?

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