The Las Vegas Raiders have recently given their offensive line a makeover. They’ve moved on from cornerstone contributors and brought others to take their place. One player that may not be going away anytime soon is left tackle Kolton Miller, who could be in line for a contract extension.
The Raiders could prioritize giving Miller an extension, per Vinny Bonsignore of Las Vegas Review-Journal. A first-round selection in 2018, he had a rocky start to his NFL career. However, he has progressively improved and has become a staple of Las Vegas’ offensive line. Also, he’s been pretty durable and has missed just two games in the last three years.
Miller gave up 16 sacks and 65 total sacks pressures in his rookie year. Moreover, he posted a paltry 49.6 Pro Football Focus grade. He has surrendered considerably fewer pressures and sacks since then and his PFF grade has gone up in the last two years. Last season was arguably the best of his young NFL career, allowing just two sacks and registering a healthy PFF grade of 72.9.
The Raiders traded center Rodney Hudson and right guard Gabe Jackson this offseason, so it would make sense to keep Miller, who should be part of the team’s long-term plans. Left guard Richie Incognito isn’t getting any younger and the UCLA product is arguably the best offensive lineman the Raiders currently have.
Kolton Miller shut down Frank Clark in Week 5. If you said these words two years ago on this website it would've been dismissed & laughed at by nearly everyone (including me). Incredible job by Tom Cable & Miller. Great example of why "traits" matter so much in the process too. pic.twitter.com/SXTHi7vhZM
— Brandon Thorn (@BrandonThornNFL) October 13, 2020
Keeping Kolton Miller should be the Raiders’ priority
The Raiders should give Miller an extension. However, there’s no need to do it right now. He’s still on his rookie deal and the team could make use of his fifth-year option. While it would be nice to reward the left tackle, there’s no rush to do it. Think about it, why should the team’s brass make an investment when they don’t have to?
Miller is good, but he isn’t an All-Pro yet nor has he earned any Pro Bowl designations. For the time being, the Silver and Black should avoid paying premium for a good-not-great left tackle, as there’s no tangible benefit to rushing the process. If he ends up becoming a top-echelon tackle, Las Vegas would then gladly pay him what he’s worth.
Looking at the situation from Miller’s standpoint, he isn’t in need of the extension. As a first-round selection, he already got a nice payday. He would surely like to make top-market money but he should wait, bet on himself and cash in when his stock is at its highest. After all, players that hit the open market get retail compensation. Left tackles, even the average ones get compensated handsomely as the demand outweighs the supply.
The Raiders’ current arrangement with Miller is working. Why should they fix something that isn’t broken? If he joins the NFL’s top tier of left tackles, they should, by all means, throw bags of cash at him. Until then, they should focus their attention on the 2021 NFL Draft.
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Top Photo: Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group