If Zachary Miller is called on to be the Bears' No. 1 tight end this season, he's ready.
The contract he agreed to Monday certainly makes it appear the Bears believe he can handle the role. Miller flew in Monday night to sign a two-year deal worth $6 million with a chance to earn another $2 million.
The Bears leaned on Miller, 31, during the second half of last season, when he finally received an opportunity. With Martellus Bennett's situation tenuous at best, Miller is ready to pick up where he left off.
"I think I showed (I could be a No. 1)," Miller told the Tribune. "If that is wanted of me, I definitely can do it. However it plays out with Marty, I know he is a great player and a great friend. Love being around him, but that is out of my control, out of his control."
Miller was the #5 TE over the final nine weeks of the season, and that includes Week 17, which he missed due to injury. He averaged 3.9 catches for 51 yards and 0.63 TD (on 5.1 targets per game) in that span. In the four games that Martellus Bennett missed, Miller averaged 5.0-55-0.50 on 6.8 targets per game. Those are solid TE1 numbers in both standard and PPR formats. Miller is 31 years old and has had trouble staying healthy throughout his career, but he'll be a compelling pick in the later rounds if the Bears part ways with Bennett and re-sign Miller.