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By: Christopher Price
September 03, 2004

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As expected, the Patriots re-signed veteran quarterback Jim Miller Friday afternoon. New England had released the 33-year-old earlier in the week as they cut their rosters down to 65 players, but the less-than-inspiring performance of Rohan Davey (13-of-25 for 104-yards and 2 interceptions) Thursday night against the Jaguars apparently made the decision an easy one for Head Coach Bill Belichick.

"I said that I thought he might be ready to practice at the end of the week, and he practiced today,” Belichick said via conference call late Friday afternoon. "We knew he wasn't going to play in Thursday's game. That would be my explanation as to why we did it.”

Miller was signed by the Patriots back on July 19 after spending the 2003 campaign out of football. He's entering his 10th NFL season and served as the starter in Chicago in 2001 and 2002. He had his best season in 2001, starting 13 of 16 games, passing for 2,299 yards with 13 touchdowns for the Bears. However, he was unable to do much of anything in training camp, as he appeared to struggle in an attempt to bounce back from offseason shoulder surgery.

Miller joins a list of players over the last two years who have been released by the Patriots, only to be re-signed at a later date. It's a group that includes offensive lineman Russ Hochstein, fullback Patrick Pass, wide receiver Dedric Ward and punter Ken Walter.

New England also made a handful of other roster moves Friday, signing running back Kory Chapman. The 24-year-old Jacksonville State product was signed by the Ravens as an undrafted free agent earlier this year. In addition, the Patriots released nine players; running Michael Cloud, safety Scott Farley, linebacker Lawrence Flugence, tight end Joel Jacobs, defensive lineman Dwight Johnson, quarterback Kliff Kingsbury, cornerback Earthwind Moreland, offensive lineman Jamil Soriano and linebacker Grant Steen.

The most notable name on that list is Cloud. The Boston College product finished with 93 yards on 19 carries in Thursday night's preseason finale, and appeared to make his case to get some time behind Corey Dillon and Kevin Faulk. But Belichick wouldn't close the door on a possible return for Cloud.

"Mike has got a lot of positives. Mike works hard,” Belichick said. "I think this gives him an opportunity to look into some other options, if there are any. And he deserves that.

"He's been a hardworking tough kid who has really given us his best: we just don't have a spot for him,” Belichick added. "That could change, but in the meantime, he deserves the opportunity to try to see what the other options are at this point for him.”

Christopher Price can be reached at capeleaguer@hotmail.com.


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