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A classy move for Bears to bring Zach Miller back

Zach Miller makes an appearance at Soldier Field on Dec. 24. (Getty Images)

Whether Zach Miller plays again or not, he’ll be a member of the Bears in 2018.

The tight end, who suffered what many considered a career-ending left leg injury in October, signed a one-year contract with the Bears on Monday. He’ll receive a split contract, a source confirmed — if he makes the team, he’ll receive $790,000. If he doesn’t, he’ll earn $458,000. Pro Football Talk first reported the terms.

Miller was injured Oct. 29 while catching a touchdown pass, later overturned, against the Saints. He was rushed to the hospital and had emergency surgery to repair the artery that ran behind his kneecap and provided blood to his lower left leg, likely saving it from amputation.

Whether Miller plays again remains an open question. He stopped needing his crutches only in late March. But the Bears have made a classy statement about their loyalty to Miller, who was one of the team’s most beloved teammates even before his horrifying injury. With the contract, Miller can spend time with his teammates and use the Bears’ training facilities. He’s been a frequent attendee at Halas Hall functions, watching Matt Forte and Devin Hester retire as Bears and watching an organized team activity practice from the sidelines.


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The team prepared for life without him this offseason, signing the Eagles’ Trey Burton to team with second-year player Adam Shaheen and veteran blocker Dion Sims.

The 33-year-old Miller, who is expected to discuss his contract Tuesday at Halas Hall, said in April that he knew there would be a time when he had to decide whether or not to retire. That day, it seems, isn’t here yet.