Seahawks tight end Zach Miller has agreed to a new contract (a restructure), reports ESPN's Danny O'Neil. The deal will represent a pay cut, but as O'Neil notes, contains incentives that allow him to recoup some of the money he was due to earn on his old deal. Miller's salary, with bonuses, was set to be $6M per year in 2014 and 2015, but is now reduced to $3M per, and can become $4M per if incentives are reached. He'll get a $1.65M roster bonus.
Miller was due a $1.0M roster bonus on March 21st, which certainly spurred this action. The Seahawks would have released Miller before that date to avoid that charge and the $7.0M cap hit he'd represent in 2014 (with dead money the Seahawks would have saved $5.0M against the cap).
Anthony McCoy signed a one-year, $1.3M deal with Seattle last week. Brandon Pettigrew recently received a four-year, $16M deal with $8M guaranteed. Brandon Myers signed a four-year, $14.25M deal with only $2.25M guaranteed. Garrett Graham signed a three-year, $11.5M deal with the Texans, Scott Chandler signed a two-year deal, and Jim Dray signed a three year, $5.25M deal. The tight end market wasn't exactly exploding. This, plus the leverage that a visiting Jermichael Finley provided, likely provided the incentive for Miller to take a pay cut rather than enter the open market as a 28-year old veteran that has slowed significantly over the past two years due to a multitude of leg/foot injuries.
Miller remains a top blocking tight end, and has made some huge, difficult catches over the past couple seasons. Miller had 33 catches for 387 yards and matched his career high with five touchdowns in 2013. The Seahawks vary the focus of their offense very greatly, often targeting a different player from game to game based on matchups. The Hawks didn't lean on him heavily in the 2013 Playoffs, but Miller was killer in the 2012 Playoffs and remains an important weapon in Seattle's offense, so this is very welcome news, in my opinion. It also gives Seattle more room against the cap and does seem to represent Miller's current market value better than his previous deal.