Miller time on delay

Throughout the 2002 campaign the Bears stated that playing through tendinitis would not impact <!--Default NodeId For Jim Miller is 292233,2002--><A HREF=[PlayerNode:292233]>Jim Miller</A>'s status for next season. However, the quarterback, who underwent surgery on his right shoulder earlier in the week, is expected to miss their spring mini-camp.

Team officials said Miller had successful surgery Tuesday to his right AC joint. A partial tear of the rotator cuff was repaired.

Miller's rehab period is expected to extend through summer. The Bears anticipate Miller will not be available until training camp starts in Bourbonnais in July.

Tendinitis in Miller's right elbow, which resulted from his shoulder problems, and a season-ending knee sprain held him to 10 appearances (8 starts) in 2002. He still may have surgery to remove a bone spur in his foot.

Miller completed 180 of 314 passes for 1,944 yards, with 13 touchdowns and nine interceptions. His 13 TD passes tied his career single-season high.

Miller will be in the second year of a five-year, $12 million deal in 2003. He has received no assurance from the Bears that they'll bring him back. Miller's contract included a relatively low guaranteed bonus of $2 million, so it's one the Bears could absorb under their salary cap, if they choose to look for a quarterback.

Asked last week if the team could commit to Miller as a starter, Coach Dick Jauron said, "We'll do all the personnel evaluations over the next number of weeks and months and we'll look at every single position. Quarterback certainly is a critical one for us."

The Bears signed guards Shane Grice and Jeff Grzeskowiak, fullback Tyree Foreman, wide receivers Edell Shepherd and Elijah Thurmon, defensive back Teddy Gaines, tight end Bryan Fletcher and defensive linemen Curry Dawson and Chris Demaree to two-year deals, which become effective Feb. 28.

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