NFL: Raiders tender contracts to Miller, Bush
AP Sports Writer
ALAMEDA, Calif. (AP) – The Oakland Raiders have tendered contracts to tight end Zach Miller and running back Michael Bush to keep the right to match any offers they receive if they become restricted free agents.
The Raiders did not announce the moves, but Miller said in a phone interview that he received his tender on Thursday. Bush also received his that day, a person with knowledge of the move told The Associated Press on Friday on condition of anonymity.
As four-year veterans, Miller and Bush would have been restricted free agents under the rules in place last season. If that is still the case after a new collective bargaining agreement is reached, the Raiders will have seven days to match any offer sheet the players receive from another team or get a first- and third-round pick as compensation.
Under last year’s rules, Miller and Bush would be guaranteed salaries of about $3.3 million. Miller is hopeful he can reach a long-term deal with the Raiders.
“We had preliminary discussions before the deadline,” he said. “Once all the CBA stuff is sorted out and free agency starts, I’m sure we’ll pick those up again. I’d like to be back in Oakland. I feel like our team is getting better and better and I think Hue Jackson will be a great head coach.”
Miller is also Oakland’s player representative and is keeping his teammates apprised of the developments in the labor talks going on in Washington.
The current labor deal had been set to run out Thursday night. But the sides have agreed to extend the deal until next Friday in hopes or reaching an agreement before a potential lockout.
Miller would not talk about any specifics in the negotiations in deference to a federal mediator, but called the extension encouraging.
“I think it’s a good sign,” he said. “It means there’s more time to work on a deal and work something fair out so there is no lockout and there is a football season coming up. I think it’s a good thing. We want to keep working on a deal. The players want a fair deal. The owners are the ones who opted out of the last agreement.”
Miller joined the Raiders as a second-round pick out of Arizona State in 2007. He led the team in receiving each of the past three seasons. He had 60 catches for 685 yards and five touchdowns last season and was selected to the Pro Bowl as an alternate.
Miller has 226 catches for 2,712 yards and 12 touchdowns in his career. He is third on the Raiders’ list for receptions by tight ends, trailing Todd Christensen (461) and Dave Casper (255).
Bush was a fourth-round pick in 2007 and missed his first season while recovering from a broken leg sustained in his final year of college at Louisville. He has emerged as a strong complement to Darren McFadden in Oakland’s backfield, running for 655 yards and eight touchdowns as the Raiders finished second in the league in rushing last season.
The tendered contracts were first reported by the Oakland Tribune.