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View Full Version : Is Heath Miller Worth 8 Million / Year Now?


SteelersCanada
02-23-2013, 04:22 PM
This is a question that is going to get laughed at and get people riled up. Now, before that happens, let me ask you guys this - is he really worth 8 million dollars in 2013 / 2014? Let's look at his cap hit -

2013 - 7 958 500

2014 - 7 966 500

Over the next two years, we're paying a 30 year old Tight End 15 925 000. Now, this isn't any 30 year old TE - it's Heath Miller for God sake. Heeeeaaaaaatttthhhhhh Miller. The guy that has been Ben's most reliable target for the last 8 years. He's probably the most beloved man in the city of Pittsburgh and nothing he could do could change that. I hope you guys sensed the "but" coming.

But - he's not worth that money. In the first four games he had 6 TDs in 4 games and he was the redzone target for Ben. He's the guy that Ben finds open every time, no matter how long he's scrambling for his life when everything breaks down. We're treading in unfamiliar waters here - we're going to lose a lot of our guys that were here for the '08 title either this offseason or next. There's only a few guys on this team that have two rings and they only have a year left with this team as well. Heath Miller is one of these guys. He's coming off of a very serious knee injury - an ACL tear isn't something to scoff at. Not every single player is Adrian Peterson and expecting him to be back in time for the season is a pipe dream. Miller might be surehanded, but he's no AD. He's going to need time to rehab and get healthy and, quite frankly, it's time we don't have. We're seeing the tail end of that with Polamalu - we don't have time to give guys that are coming off of serious injuries time to rehab. More importantly, we don't have the cap room to do so.

Troy Polamalu - 10,137,500
Heath Miller - 7 958 500
James Harrison - 10,035,000
Brett Keisel - 4,500,000
Ryan Clark - 4,750,000

Those five players, all of whom are on the wrong side of 30 and had injuries at some point this season make up 37 381 000. We're focusing on Heath Miller here, though. Is he surehanded? Yes. Is he a fan favorite? No question. That being said, he's simply not worth the 8 million dollars he's going to count against the cap next season. There's a very good chance the next time he sees the field, he'll be 31 (October 22).

If we're serious about getting younger and getting more explosive on offense, these guys (with the exception of Clark) have to go. If we're serious about reloading and not rebuilding this team while maintaining the young guys we have on it (Allen, Lewis, Sanders) as the future of this team, these guys have to go. Miller is coming off of an injury that he might never be able to fully recover from. Not only that, how many healthy years does he (realistically) have left? With the cap situation we're in, this would easily be the hardest cut to make. I do think that it's a necessary one as I don't see him being extended beyond 2014 anyway.

I know this is going to get me crucified on here and I'm willing to take it so as long as you guys see where I'm coming from. I wouldn't pay Heath 8 million this year or any year after last. We can find free agents options for cheap that are very similar players to Miller and have shown it. Martellus Bennett was a reliable option for Eli last year. Delanie Walker was sitting behind Vernon Davis for his time in San Fran, but he showed his potential in that offense. We could find pieces in the draft, too. Guys like Escobar and Williams in the mid-to-late rounds would be suitable replacements.

We have to get younger and getting younger means making hard decisions. He's not the first place we should look to get to cap compliance and bring in the 'new generation' of Steelers, but he's definitely an option to look at to get younger this offseason.

harrison'samonster
02-23-2013, 04:34 PM
you make a good argument, but other than this injury Miller's been able to keep healthy and I don't see why he can't be around another 4 or 5 years. Another thing about Miller is there is the Offensive tackles are going to both be young and will likely need help from time to time in the blocking.

I am worried that he's going to miss time on the field this year and it seems like we need a short term answer whether or not he's going to be around in the future or not.

pete74
02-23-2013, 04:39 PM
I would drop troy, Harrison, and Keisel first. I think Heath can play at a high level for the remainder of his contract. He is the one player who hasn't slowed down and I expect him to train his ass off all summer and come back week 1 in tip top condition

TheVet
02-23-2013, 04:55 PM
I don't think you can do much to speed the healing of an ACL injury. Of course he'll "train his ass off," but the recovery period before that's possible is long. His injury occurred at the end of the year, so it's hard to really expect much at all from him in the 2013 season. Anything we get from Heath next year is a bonus.

Having said that, this is something I always wonder about. If a played is injured, is it really the case that the missed time counts against the cap? That seems wrong. Also, I assume that insurance policies held by the Steelers reduces the actual dollar hit. There must be some kind of procedures in place to allow a team to ride out a season-killing injury in a way that's fair to the owners and the player. Anybody know the options?

Good topic to discuss, but a healthy Heath Miller in his early 30's is well worth $8m/yr in my opinion - he's top notch at an important skill position. But we're talking about minimal production in 2013, full production in 2014.

harrison'samonster
02-23-2013, 05:31 PM
I don't think you can do much to speed the healing of an ACL injury. Of course he'll "train his ass off," but the recovery period before that's possible is long. His injury occurred at the end of the year, so it's hard to really expect much at all from him in the 2013 season. Anything we get from Heath next year is a bonus.

Having said that, this is something I always wonder about. If a played is injured, is it really the case that the missed time counts against the cap? That seems wrong. Also, I assume that insurance policies held by the Steelers reduces the actual dollar hit. There must be some kind of procedures in place to allow a team to ride out a season-killing injury in a way that's fair to the owners and the player. Anybody know the options?

Good topic to discuss, but a healthy Heath Miller in his early 30's is well worth $8m/yr in my opinion - he's top notch at an important skill position. But we're talking about minimal production in 2013, full production in 2014.

very good point. I don't know of any options myself. I would assume that he would have to be placed on the injured reserve list by March 12th and would be unable to play all season, but I know of nothing specific. This would seem like it would benefit players and ownership.

EDIT: I don't know if this is in Miller's contract, but: "Many players also make less money if they are put on the IR list, which is sometimes referred to as the reserve/injured list. Players often agree to contracts that include reduced salaries if they go on IR. Often called split salaries, they usually are between 40 percent and 70 percent of the players' normal salaries. Not all contracts include reduced salaries for players who are put on IR. The Collective Bargaining Agreement between the NFL and the NFL Players Association (NFLPA) also sets minimum amounts for players' split salaries."

TheVet
02-23-2013, 06:15 PM
Yes, that looks like the kind of thing I had in mind. Good find. Hopefully the Steelers and Miller have something like this in place, or can otherwise get together to work it out.

harrison'samonster
02-23-2013, 06:28 PM
Yes, that looks like the kind of thing I had in mind. Good find. Hopefully the Steelers and Miller have something like this in place, or can otherwise get together to work it out.

thanks, I think if something like this is in Miller's contract then it has to be an option at this point. That could be somewhere between 3-5 million dollars this season to go toward signing Lewis or whomever.

The_Joker
02-23-2013, 06:36 PM
Yes

teegre
02-23-2013, 06:38 PM
Canada, you wrote my response:

He's the guy that Ben finds open every time, no matter how long he's scrambling for his life when everything breaks down.

So, Yes, keep him.

fer522
02-23-2013, 06:55 PM
Only if we can get Gonzales for 1 year and we draft the TE from notre dame

casteeler
02-23-2013, 08:59 PM
Heath is worth whatever amount he asks for:thumbsup:

Lady Steel
02-24-2013, 12:01 AM
Is this a rhetorical question? Of course he is. This is Heeeeath we're talking about. :tt:

WVABE
02-24-2013, 06:37 AM
The hair on my back stands up when were on an opponents field and the announcers say, "are we at Heinz Field", HEEEEEEEEATH just rocked this stadium.

Give the man 10 mil a year, he's worth the money.

JackH
02-24-2013, 08:12 AM
Next to Ben, Heath Miller was our best offensive weapon. We have to pay him this season and hope he returns to last season’s form, and sooner rather than later.

But what if he doesn’t? What if he isn’t ready to go until the 5th week of the season, which would probably be realistic, or week 8? Our backups are mediocre. I can’t see the Steelers going after a free agent like Bennett or Walker. I’ll be surprised if the Steelers pick up any free agents who are not dirt cheap.

The Steelers need to draft a tight end, and not in the 6th or 7th round. Even if Heath comes back quicker than expected, another quality tight end could be utilized in two tight end sets. Another big target in the red zone. If Ben has to play dink and dunk, give him another guy to do it with.

Here’s what I think we are looking at with respect to the draft and tight ends. We could perhaps get Tyler Eifert in the 1st round, Zack Ertz in the 2nd round, Vance McDonald in the 3rd round, or Gavin Escobar in the 4th round.

I watched the tight end 40-yard dashes yesterday. Escobar’s stock fell because of his overall performance yesterday. Funny thing. Escobar had a false start on his 40 and walked off the track and back to the starting point. Who do you suppose ran up and starting talking to him? Yep, Todd Haley in a Steelers sweatshirt. Escobar ran a 4.84, Eifert a 4.68, Ertz a 4.76, and McDonald a 4.69.

harrison'samonster
02-24-2013, 08:19 AM
Next to Ben, Heath Miller was our best offensive weapon. We have to pay him this season and hope he returns to last seasonís form, and sooner rather than later.

But what if he doesnít? What if he isnít ready to go until the 5th week of the season, which would probably be realistic, or week 8? Our backups are mediocre. I canít see the Steelers going after a free agent like Bennett or Walker. Iíll be surprised if the Steelers pick up any free agents who are not dirt cheap.

The Steelers need to draft a tight end, and not in the 6th or 7th round. Even if Heath comes back quicker than expected, another quality tight end could be utilized in two tight end sets. Another big target in the red zone. If Ben has to play dink and dunk, give him another guy to do it with.

Hereís what I think we are looking at with respect to the draft and tight ends. We could perhaps get Tyler Eifert in the 1st round, Zack Ertz in the 2nd round, Vance McDonald in the 3rd round, or Gavin Escobar in the 4th round.

I watched the tight end 40-yard dashes yesterday. Escobarís stock fell because of his overall performance yesterday. Funny thing. Escobar had a false start on his 40 and walked off the track and back to the starting point. Who do you suppose ran up and starting talking to him? Yep, Todd Haley in a Steelers sweatshirt. Escobar ran a 4.84, Eifert a 4.68, Ertz a 4.76, and McDonald a 4.69.

interesting. We are definitely going to need to do something to help in the short term, I agree, even if we see him playing this year I think it won't be until at least half way through the season.

teegre
02-24-2013, 09:31 AM
Gavin Escobar in the 4th round.

I watched the tight end 40-yard dashes yesterday. Escobarís stock fell because of his overall performance yesterday. Funny thing. Escobar had a false start on his 40 and walked off the track and back to the starting point. Who do you suppose ran up and starting talking to him? Yep, Todd Haley in a Steelers sweatshirt. Escobar ran a 4.84, Eifert a 4.68, Ertz a 4.76, and McDonald a 4.69.

Escobar has been a player that I've liked & followed, but I was sure that he'd go R2 (or early R3)... and I feel that the Steelers should & would go OLB & S inn those rounds.

Him having a bad combine in good news (I do not care about the combine; the kid can play). Todd Haley talking to him is even better news.

I've said it several times, but it bears iteration: he is Aaron Hernandez. And, if you ask most defenders, Aaron is actually the more difficult TE to defend (not Gronk), despite what the stats say.

R4... YES!!!

sluggermatt15
02-24-2013, 10:11 AM
Let's remember that Heath is a GREAT blocking tight end too. He not only catches passes but he is very good for the run game. I wouldn't say he is as good at blocking as an o-lineman because that's not his trade, but he is capable of taking on d-linemen and linebackers. Couple this with his pass catching ability and I think you have to pay the man.

If we aren't going to pay him... who will Ben throw the ball to? There is a good chance Wallace will leave, Burress is a question mark, and what do we make of Antonio Brown and Emmanuel Sanders? There isn't anyone really left with certainty if we let Heath go!!

mikegrimey
02-24-2013, 10:25 AM
Heath worth whatever he asks for? 10 million a year or more?

Eh, he's a top tier TE, but how much are the likes of Gronkowski making?

JackH
02-24-2013, 10:58 AM
Escobar has been a player that I've liked & followed, but I was sure that he'd go R2 (or early R3)... and I feel that the Steelers should & would go OLB & S inn those rounds.

Him having a bad combine in good news (I do not care about the combine; the kid can play). Todd Haley talking to him is even better news.

I've said it several times, but it bears iteration: he is Aaron Hernandez. And, if you ask most defenders, Aaron is actually the more difficult TE to defend (not Gronk), despite what the stats say.

R4... YES!!!

Correction on what I said about Todd Haley. It wasn't him talking to Escobar yesterday, it was this Steelers college scout who is the starter for the 40-yard dash. He looks like Haley, at least he did last night when I was drinking Guinness.

That other guy you like Tavon Austin ran a 4.25 in the 40 today, next fastest ever to Chris Johnson's 4.24.

We need some playmakers in the draft more than anything. I'd be real happy if the Steelers took a WR, TE, and RB with 3 of the 4 top picks. I like the same guys you like. Austin and Escobar, despite his lackluster performance yesterday) and Lattimore works for me, along with a few other similar combinations.

pczach
02-24-2013, 11:10 AM
Correction on what I said about Todd Haley. It wasn't him talking to Escobar yesterday, it was this Steelers college scout who is the starter for the 40-yard dash. He looks like Haley, at least he did last night when I was drinking Guinness.

That other guy you like Tavon Austin ran a 4.25 in the 40 today, next fastest ever to Chris Johnson's 4.24.

We need some playmakers in the draft more than anything. I'd be real happy if the Steelers took a WR, TE, and RB with 3 of the 4 top picks. I like the same guys you like. Austin and Escobar, despite his lackluster performance yesterday) and Lattimore works for me, along with a few other similar combinations.

That Guiness will get you every time!:drink:

stb_steeler
02-24-2013, 11:14 AM
He is worth every penny. In my opinion he should be making more.
We all know how valuable he is to this OL. He should be used more if you ask me!

teegre
02-24-2013, 11:19 AM
That other guy you like Tavon Austin ran a 4.25 in the 40 today, next fastest ever to Chris Johnson's 4.24.

We need some playmakers in the draft more than anything. I'd be real happy if the Steelers took a WR, TE, and RB with 3 of the 4 top picks. I like the same guys you like. Austin and Escobar, despite his lackluster performance yesterday) and Lattimore works for me, along with a few other similar combinations.

Tavon!!!

Well, that 40 time just eliminated ANY chance of him slipping into R2. He'll definitely go in late R1... hopefully, not to the Taperiots or the Ravens. (NOTE: The 17th pick is too high, especially considering the other areas if need. Ergo, alas, he now will not be a Steeler.)

Terminator
02-24-2013, 03:10 PM
I would say no.

He's been extremely reliable, but he is not in the Elite Tier of NFL tight ends, and he is coming off a major knee injury.

wwhickok
02-24-2013, 04:09 PM
If Miller makes a full recovery, which I am sure he will, yes he is easily worth 8million. Seriously. He has been our most reliable receiver. Without him we lose a significant threat in our offense.

teegre
02-24-2013, 04:59 PM
I foresee a restructuring happening.

Heath knows that he's about to earn half a season's salary while in rehad, and also that he "could" be cut (although, I truly do not see that taking place). It behooves both parties to alter his contract... and while I might live in a fantasy world, I think both sides respect one another & want to help each other out.

Likewise, the Steelers are at the "end" of Heath's back-loaded contract (where the salary is higher than it truly should be). Normally, this is where a player extends... which is exactly what I think transpires.

Thus, I see that $16 million being turned into $20 million spread over four years.

Heath gets a little signing bonus/more guaranteed money (& doesn't get cut). The Steelers get to push back his cap hit (& pay $3 million less per year for a "currently injured" player).

JackH
02-24-2013, 05:04 PM
Tavon!!!

Well, that 40 time just eliminated ANY chance of him slipping into R2. He'll definitely go in late R1... hopefully, not to the Taperiots or the Ravens. (NOTE: The 17th pick is too high, especially considering the other areas if need. Ergo, alas, he now will not be a Steeler.)

Cancel the 4.25 for Austin. That was his unofficial time off a stop watch announced right after he ran. Hours later they gave him an official 4.34, tied with Ryan Swope for 2nd. That track guy Marquise Goodwin was first at 4.27.

So maybe Austin will last until the 2nd round. But then again Belichick might take him late in the first round.

Gavin Escobar may have likely moved down the tight end food chain somewhat, but that guy looks like a beast to me. Definitely Steelers material.

TheVet
02-24-2013, 05:07 PM
I think teegre has it exactly right. I don't see the Steelers letting Heath get away. This is a deal that will happen.

SteelersCanada
02-24-2013, 05:54 PM
I think teegre has it exactly right. I don't see the Steelers letting Heath get away. This is a deal that will happen.

I don't want it to. If we restructure Heath, we're putting ourselves in another shitty cap situation in the future. We need to cut our losses here - he had a serious ACL injury. He's on the wrong side of 30. His name isn't Adrian Peterson and he's not worth 8 million dollars.

The guy a couple posts above me is absolutely right - he's a huge asset to the offensive line. Fortunately, guys like Escobar, Williams and Bennett and Walker share the qualities that Miller brings to the table. That, and I don't know how much more babysitting he's going to have to do with Adams on that right side. Adams was improving with every snap and, until he was injured, was starting to come into his own without Miller there. Even if he does struggle, a guy like Escobar (who I'm starting to get very high on) could be there to help in pass protection scenarios. Something as small as a chip and into the flat play which Heath seems to specialize in, it gives Adams enough time to get into his technique and use his strength to push the pass rusher to the outside.

He's not worth 8 million dollars guys. Say what you will, but he's coming off of a serious injury and I very much doubt he'll be ready for week 1 this year. While I can see an injury clause in his contract, that's delaying the inevitable. What we can't do, however, is restructure. We just can't. We can't keep pushing money farther and farther down the line and keep setting us up for more cap situations like the one we're already in right now. Grabbing someone like Escobar and/or Williams helps set up life after Ben as well, and provides whomever we get to take over the reigns a viable option like Heath was for Roethlisberger.

wwhickok
02-24-2013, 05:59 PM
Cant say Heath isnt worth it because he isnt on the verge of breaking records. C'mon. He has been the most reliable threat on our offense and if utilized more likely the most dangerous. A restructure will happen.

casteeler
02-24-2013, 06:02 PM
Heath worth whatever he asks for? 10 million a year or more?

Eh, he's a top tier TE, but how much are the likes of Gronkowski making?

Whatever he asks for! The team completely fell apart offensively but Heath. Every running back,Reciever and even Ben himself fumbled,dropped passes,looked completely lost yet Heath proved himself immune to whatever infected this team offensively.Whatever he asks for

SteelersCanada
02-24-2013, 06:15 PM
Cant say Heath isnt worth it because he isnt on the verge of breaking records. C'mon. He has been the most reliable threat on our offense and if utilized more likely the most dangerous. A restructure will happen.

You're right - he was the most reliable target on the field. Was. People think that everyone can come back spick-and-span after an ACL injury because they've seen Adrian Peterson do it. Look, no one else in the world (except Megatron) has the athletic ability and talent of AD. No one. It's remarkable that he was able to come back and accomplish what he did after that injury. One of the reasons why it was so remarkable was because it was an anomaly. It doesn't happen often.

I'm not comfortable paying someone 8 million dollars when they're coming off of an injury like that. I'm just not. Here's the simple fact of the matter guys - he's not irreplaceable. He isn't a Gronkowski or Hernandez who other teams have to gameplan and watch film on exclusively. He's not the kind of guy that can change a game single-handedly. Is he a great asset to have? Absolutely and I love him as a player. I also love having cap space and the ability to sign guys that are young and explosive.

If it comes down to it, I'd rather have Keenan Lewis than Heath Miller. Again, I don't start with releasing Miller to clear space. In fact, he's the last place I go.

teegre
02-24-2013, 11:44 PM
HEATH
Many coaches consider Heath to be the best all around TE in the league; he can do everything very well (albeit, he is not as great a receiving threat as Gronk). More importantly, BB considers Heath the best.

THE CAP
Deferring the money would cause a problem down the line; restructuring would not. As I mentioned earlier, restructuring Heath would take his average from $8 million down to $5 million.

Heath gets $4 million (albeit, by playing an extra two years), and the Steelers pay less per year. It's a win-win.

YOUNG TIGHT END
A young TE needs to be drafted for a few reasons. 1) Heath won't be playing the first 8 games. 2) The two-TE set is a key to this offense (has been for a decade, and will be for a long, long time). 3) In the red-zone, BB looked for Heath. Adding an extra red-zone target helps the offense.

It's not an either/or scenario. The team can keep Heath AND also draft a young TE.

Paulson...
...the team likes him, but again, Heath will be gone for the first half... and Paulson is not yet a complete player.

teegre
02-25-2013, 12:01 AM
Cancel the 4.25 for Austin. That was his unofficial time off a stop watch announced right after he ran. Hours later they gave him an official 4.34, tied with Ryan Swope for 2nd. That track guy Marquise Goodwin was first at 4.27.

So maybe Austin will last until the 2nd round. But then again Belichick might take him late in the first round.

Gavin Escobar may have likely moved down the tight end food chain somewhat, but that guy looks like a beast to me. Definitely Steelers material.

4.34... and moves like Barry Sanders. If the kid was 5'11, he'd be a "top five" pick. Being slightly under 5'8, he'll be a steal for a late-R1 team... and, Yes, that is most likely Belichick. Nooo!!!!!!!!!

Es-co-bar... Es-co-bar... Es-co-bar... :wink02:

casteeler
02-25-2013, 10:04 AM
Cough-Shanahan-cough cough

SH-Rock
02-25-2013, 10:43 AM
I would say no.

He's been extremely reliable, but he is not in the Elite Tier of NFL tight ends, and he is coming off a major knee injury.

Heath was used poorly in the Arians era. He really got to shine last year even though he had help block. He's worth every single penny. No one does as much on the team as Heath. Plus he might not be a vocal leader, but he leads by action. And we could use all the leaders we can get at this point.