The New England Patriots announced the signing of veteran quarterback Jim Miller and first-round draft choice Vince Wilfork today. Terms of the contracts were not disclosed.
Miller, 33, enters his 10th NFL season after serving as the starting quarterback for the Chicago Bears in 2001 and 2002. In his 10-year career, Miller has completed 610 of 1,046 passes for 6,387 yards and 36 touchdowns. His most successful season was in 2001, when he played in a career-high 14 games, starting 13 for the Bears, while passing for 2,299 yards and 13 touchdowns on 228 completions. That season, the Bears finished 13-3, posting their best record in the last 17 seasons. In 2002, he started eight games while leading the Bears with 1,944 passing yards and 13 touchdowns.
The 6-foot-2-inch, 225-pound native of Waterford, Michigan was drafted in the sixth round (178th overall) of the 1994 NFL draft by the Pittsburgh Steelers. As a rookie in 1994, he was inactive for all 16 games before playing for the Frankfurt Galaxy of World League of American Football (now NFL Europe) following the season. He saw action in five games for the Steelers during the 1995 and 1996 seasons before being waived at the start of the 1997 campaign. Miller spent time with the Jacksonville Jaguars and Atlanta Falcons in 1997 before beginning a five-year stint with the Bears. The former Michigan State star did not see action in 1998, but stepped into a backup role in 1999, passing for 1,242 yards in just five games. In 2000, Miller played in three games, starting two, before being placed on injured reserve.
Miller spent the 2003 season out of football after being waived by the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in training camp. He ended his standout Michigan State career ranked third in Spartans history with 5,037 passing yards and 746 pass attempts.
Wilfork, 22, was drafted by the Patriots in the first round of the 2004 NFL draft with the 21st selection overall. The 6-foot-2-inch, 325-pound defensive tackle started 14 of 36 games in three seasons at the University of Miami (Fla.), where he recorded 148 career tackles (73 solo), including 14 sacks for losses of 60 yards. A unanimous All-Big East Conference first-team choice in his final season, Wilfork recorded six sacks for a loss of 29 yards, tying him for the team lead. He closed out his career with seven tackles (5 solo) against Florida State in the Orange Bowl. He started every game at defensive tackle as a junior in 2003.