Unlikely as it was, Zach Miller never gave up his dream of playing football even after a serious knee injury suffered in Week 8 ended his season and threatened to finish his career.
Soon, Miller will get another shot at making the Bears’ roster.
Sources tell Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio that Miller has signed a one-year deal with the team.
UPDATE: It’s officially official:
It makes us so happy to say…
WELCOME BACK, ZACH. pic.twitter.com/9zj3gUoB2d
— Chicago Bears (@ChicagoBears) June 4, 2018
Under the deal, Miller will make $790,000 if he makes a full recovery and plays in 2018. If he doesn’t, Miller will still make $458,000. It’s a classy gesture from an organization that has backed Miller fully since his injury, even after his contract expired at the end of the 2017 season.
Miller signed with the Bears in 2014 and has caught 101 passes for 1,161 yards and 11 touchdowns in 33 games (28 starts) in four seasons. Miller appeared to be on track for his best season since joining the team, catching 20 passes for 236 yards, and a pair of touchdowns in eight games. And even though Miller played just 314 snaps, he was Pro Football Focus’ 12th-highest-graded tight end. At the time of his injury, he owned PFF’s 12th best run-blocking grade among tight ends.
The Bears have a pretty loaded tight ends room, so making the cut won’t be easy. In addition to Trey Burton, Adam Shaheen, and Dion Sims at the top of the depth chart, Chicago also has Ben Braunecker, Daniel Brown, and Colin Thompson scrapping for playing time.
Miller built a bit of a rapport with quarterback Mitch Trubisky during their brief time together. Trubisky’s first touchdown pass was snagged by Miller against Minnesota on Monday Night Football. And while Miller had a touchdown catch overturned on the play that ended his 2017 season, it would be nice for that story to come full circle with another catch and score in 2018.