The Patriots like to have depth at every position on the roster. Sometimes that works out, sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes it’s needed, sometimes people get released because the room becomes too crowded.
This move is no different.
First reaction: Miller won’t even see the field as a Patriot. This seems like the quintessential “kicking the tires” move. But at the same time I could also see Miller playing a large part in this years Super Bowl run. Who knows!
At the time of this writing the exact numbers of the deal haven’t been released, but one has to assume that this is going to be a deal similar to the one Newton signed. Low guaranteed money with a bunch of incentives sprinkled in.
And with that, the rich get richer. With a backfield already consisting of 5 running backs, at first glance this move is a head scratcher. But this is actually about as perfect a Patriot move as there is.
Sony Michel is starting the year on the PUP (no, I’m not ready to call him a bust and you shouldn’t be either), James White is a capable runner but we all know he’s there as a pass-catcher, Burkhead is in a similar boat as White but has also been known to get injured here and there, Damien Harris is supposedly posed for a bigger role but that has yet to be seen and undrafted rookie J.J. Taylor is a complete unknown.
Enter Lamar Miller.
A very capable veteran who was the 5th highest rated RB from 2013-2018. A torn ACL kept Miller off the field all of 2019, but after an entire year to rehab, he should be ready to split carries in New England. And with so many options to go with, McDaniels can ease Miller into the rotation by splitting carries as needed or going with Miller if he has the hot hand.
I love this move. It protects you against not having a starting back if Michel doesn’t return to form this year and if the room becomes too crowded, cut him. It’s a win-win.