The Bears have been searching for a tight end to pair with Martellus Bennett, since the Pro Bowler arrived in Chicago in 2013.
Last preseason they appeared to find that guy in Zach Miller. However, Miller suffered a Lisfranc injury and spent the entire regular season on injured reserve.
On Friday, the Bears signed Miller to a one-year, $645,000 deal. The 30-year-old has a past of injuries prior to last season’s let down.
Miller has not played in a regular-season game since 2011. In three seasons in Jacksonville (2009-11), he made five starts in 33 appearances, reeling in 45 catches for 470 yards and four touchdowns.
New general manager Ryan Pace was clearly impressed by Miller’s athleticism in the preseason opener against Philadelphia last season. He caught six passes for 68 yards and two touchdowns and looked like a nice piece for the Bears’ offense. The game film proves he is an asset when healthy.
Miller hasn’t been able to stay on the field, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t determined to get back.
In 2011, he suffered a right shoulder injury that ended his season. In 2012, Miller partially tore his Achilles tendon and tore his calf muscle which ended his year.
In 2013, he had a concussion and was waived four games into the season by the Bucs. But, the Bears saw something in him last season when they placed him on injured reserve instead of waiving him with an injury settlement.
If Miller can stay healthy he would be a big upgrade over last season’s No. 2 tight end Dante Rosario. It’s a big if considering his past three seasons have been spent on injured reserve, but you never know.
At 6-foot-5, 236 pounds Miller has all the tools to be an effective tight end in the NFL.
The Bears’ offense needs another playmaker to stretch the middle of the field and Miller could be it if he is 100 percent in 2015.
Thoughts on the low-risk signing of Miller by the Bears?
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