Happy to be Back

INDIANAPOLIS _ Quarterback Jim Miller needed a contract that paid him like a starter while the Bears needed insurance in case an often injured player wound up on the sidelines again.

The two sides found a common ground on the first day of free agency (March 1st) and agreed on a five-year contract worth $12.5 million with incentives that could reach $20 million. The deal included a $2 million signing bonus.

``Obviously I'm very excited,'' the 31-yearold Miller said. ``Everything has happened the way I wanted it to happen. I'm just excited about the organization.

``This is the place I've wanted to be all along.'' The deal sealer was the nine-year veteran's decision to accept a contract so heavily laced in unguaranteed money. However, the Bears bent by making it money he can attain merely with good health.

``The big concern of the Bears obviously is durability,'' Miller said. ``A lot of my incentives are based on goals that are very reachable.''

The most important thing to Miller now is that the Bears keep key players, mainly the guy who snaps him the ball -- free agent center Olin Kreutz.

``The work is just beginning now,'' he said. ``Of course, we want (wideout) Marcus Robinson back. I'm happy with this football team. I think we're only going to get better offensively.

``We want Olin back, obviously. He's the next step, that's the guy they need to sign next. I can say that for myself, too.''

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