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Wilfork inks reported $18.05 million deal

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            With more than a week to go before the start of training camp the Patriots reached a contract agreement with top pick **Vince Wilfork** on Monday, also simultaneously officially announcing the addition of veteran backup quarterback **Jim Miller**.  

According to a report by the Metro West Daily News the contract is a six-year deal worth up to $18.05 million. The Daily News states that the deal includes $5.825 million worth of bonus money, including $3 million up front and $2.5 million to be paid as an option bonus in 2005, as well as a $325,000 roster bonus for 2004. According to the report the contract also includes guaranteed base salaries for 2005 and 2006 potentially bringing the total of guaranteed money to $6.575 million.

Selected by the Patriots out of Miami with the 21st pick of the first round, the 6-2, 325-pound Wilfork will likely compete with veteran free agent addition Keith Traylor for the team's nose tackle position when training camp opens next Thursday at Gillette Stadium.

In three seasons with the Hurricanes Wilfork played in 36 games with 14 starts, including starts in all 13 games during his junior season. He tallied 148 tackles, 14 sacks, three fumble recoveries and five forced fumbles during his collegiate career. He was a disruptive force during his final season in which he registered 64 tackles, six sacks, one fumble recovery and one forced fumble earning unanimous All-Big East Conference first team honors.

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            By reaching a deal with more than a week to go until training camp Wilfork becomes just the second first-round pick, joining Texans linebacker **Jason Babin**, to sign an NFL contract this summer. Babin was the 27th player taken last April and also signed a potential six-year deal with Houston.  

The Patriots, a team that has earned a good reputation for getting its draft picks in camp on time, have now signed three of eight 2004 selections.

Miller, a 33-year-old journeyman who has spent time with Pittsburgh (1994-96), Jacksonville (1997), Atlanta (1997), Chicago (1998-2002) and Tampa Bay (2003), missed all of 2003 recovering from shoulder surgery. The Bucs placed him on the physically unable to perform list last August but released him in September. According to reports he will be unavailable until sometime around Sept. 1 as recovers from another shoulder procedure he underwent in February.

Now Miller joins a backup quarterback mix in New England that includes Rohan Davey, Kliff Kingsbury and recently-signed Kurt Kittner.

Miller last played in 2002 with Chicago when he started eight games, completed 57.3 percent of his passes and threw 13 touchdowns and nine interceptions. His best season was 2001 when he led the Bears to a 13-3 mark and the NFC Central division title while starting 13 of his 14 games.

When healthy, Miller would clearly be the most experienced option in a suddenly crowded race for No. 2 in New England behind Tom Brady. In 37 career games (27 starts), Miller has completed 610-of-1,046 passes (58.3 percent) for 6,387 yards with 36 touchdowns, 31 interceptions and a passer rating of 75.2.

PFW's Paul Perillo contributed to this report.

            [
28602.jpg

]()

            With more than a week to go before the start of training camp the Patriots reached a contract agreement with top pick **Vince Wilfork** on Monday, also simultaneously officially announcing the addition of veteran backup quarterback **Jim Miller**.  

According to a report by the Metro West Daily News the contract is a six-year deal worth up to $18.05 million. The Daily News states that the deal includes $5.825 million worth of bonus money, including $3 million up front and $2.5 million to be paid as an option bonus in 2005, as well as a $325,000 roster bonus for 2004. According to the report the contract also includes guaranteed base salaries for 2005 and 2006 potentially bringing the total of guaranteed money to $6.575 million.

Selected by the Patriots out of Miami with the 21st pick of the first round, the 6-2, 325-pound Wilfork will likely compete with veteran free agent addition Keith Traylor for the team's nose tackle position when training camp opens next Thursday at Gillette Stadium.

In three seasons with the Hurricanes Wilfork played in 36 games with 14 starts, including starts in all 13 games during his junior season. He tallied 148 tackles, 14 sacks, three fumble recoveries and five forced fumbles during his collegiate career. He was a disruptive force during his final season in which he registered 64 tackles, six sacks, one fumble recovery and one forced fumble earning unanimous All-Big East Conference first team honors.

            [
28444.jpg

]()

            By reaching a deal with more than a week to go until training camp Wilfork becomes just the second first-round pick, joining Texans linebacker **Jason Babin**, to sign an NFL contract this summer. Babin was the 27th player taken last April and also signed a potential six-year deal with Houston.  

The Patriots, a team that has earned a good reputation for getting its draft picks in camp on time, have now signed three of eight 2004 selections.

Miller, a 33-year-old journeyman who has spent time with Pittsburgh (1994-96), Jacksonville (1997), Atlanta (1997), Chicago (1998-2002) and Tampa Bay (2003), missed all of 2003 recovering from shoulder surgery. The Bucs placed him on the physically unable to perform list last August but released him in September. According to reports he will be unavailable until sometime around Sept. 1 as recovers from another shoulder procedure he underwent in February.

Now Miller joins a backup quarterback mix in New England that includes Rohan Davey, Kliff Kingsbury and recently-signed Kurt Kittner.

Miller last played in 2002 with Chicago when he started eight games, completed 57.3 percent of his passes and threw 13 touchdowns and nine interceptions. His best season was 2001 when he led the Bears to a 13-3 mark and the NFC Central division title while starting 13 of his 14 games.

When healthy, Miller would clearly be the most experienced option in a suddenly crowded race for No. 2 in New England behind Tom Brady. In 37 career games (27 starts), Miller has completed 610-of-1,046 passes (58.3 percent) for 6,387 yards with 36 touchdowns, 31 interceptions and a passer rating of 75.2.

PFW's Paul Perillo contributed to this report.

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