The New England Patriots seemingly came out of nowhere to sign Lamar Miller earlier this month.
Head coach Bill Belichick does everything with a purpose, though. So, why add the veteran running back to an already crowded position group featuring Sony Michel, James White, Rex Burkhead and Damien Harris?
"I think there’s going to be a lot of player movement in the early part of training camp, and I think you see a dozen or so transactions every day throughout the league," Belichick explained Wednesday in a video conference with reporters. "Our roster was at one point down around 75 (players) ... significantly below the 80-man roster limit. So, if we can add quality and depth to our team, then we’ll do that."
Miller made the Pro Bowl two seasons ago and has topped 1,000 yards twice in his eight-year NFL career split between the Miami Dolphins and Houston Texans.
He also missed the entire 2019 season with a torn ACL, which helps explain why the Patriots were able to sign the 29-year-old on a bargain one-year deal.
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Miller is on New England's Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list to start training camp, and Belichick suggested he's still recovering from the injury that sidelined him all last year.
"Of course, you know Lamar missed the season last year and is coming off last year’s injury, so we’ll see how that goes," Belichick said. "But, hopefully he’ll be able to work his way back onto the field, and we’ll see where he’s at."
Miller essentially is a low-risk insurance policy for top running back Sony Michel, who also is on the PUP list as he recovers from ankle surgery and may not be ready for Week 1.
And considering New England had several open roster spots to fill after a wave of player opt-outs -- which included running back Brandon Bolden -- signing Miller was a logical move for Belichick and the Patriots.