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pakowitz 05-12-2003 07:49 PM

Ex-Browns LB Miller advised to retire

May 12, 2003 Print it

CLEVELAND -- Former Cleveland Browns linebacker Jamir Miller has been advised to retire by a doctor who examined the free agent's surgically repaired Achilles' tendon.

"He got a very discouraging medical report," Miller's agent, Leigh Steinberg, said Monday. "The Achilles' injury is very serious. He's seriously considering retirement and is in the last stages of making a decision."

Miller, who made the Pro Bowl after recording 13 sacks in 2001, ruptured his right Achilles' tendon in the Browns' exhibition opener against Minnesota last August and missed the entire season.

Steinberg said Miller had been bothered by soreness in his heel the past few weeks, and he visited a specialist in Los Angeles on Friday.

"He has been medically advised not to play football," Steinberg said. "He had been hoping it would improve. The last time he played, he was a Pro Bowler. It's sort of sad."

Earlier Monday, the Browns confirmed they had withdrawn their one-year contract offer to Miller. Browns spokesman Todd Stewart said the team rescinded its $1.65 million package, leaving the 29-year-old player without any teams showing interest in him.

Stewart said Browns president Carmen Policy sent a letter to Steinberg late last week informing him that the club couldn't wait any longer for an answer about their proposal.

"We never heard back," Stewart said.

Miller was released by the Browns in February but had little luck in the free-agency market. He visited Tampa Bay and Baltimore, and the Ravens nearly signed him before removing a one-year offer shortly after drafting defensive end Terrell Suggs in last month's draft.

Steinberg said Miller's injury made it difficult to make any decisions or plan ahead.

"One of the reasons we were not a little more aggressive in negotiations with the Browns or Ravens was because we were hoping it would improve," he said.

Steinberg has spoken with Miller about possibly pursuing a career in broadcasting or sports representation.

"I've talked to him about potentially joining our group," Steinberg said. "He has been part of the leadership in the NFLPA."

The Browns felt their offer to Miller, which included a $1 million signing bonus and playing incentives that would have doubled the value of the deal, was fair, and the club is puzzled why he didn't accept it.

Miller, who played five seasons with Arizona, signed with the Browns as a free agent before their expansion season in 1999. He got off to a strong start, and the club reworked his contract and extended it through the 2003 season.

After he made 114 tackles during his Pro Bowl season in 2001, Miller asked the Browns to renegotiate his deal, which included a $3.5 million salary in 2002 and $3.9 million in 2003. He further demanded a signing bonus of $10 million.

When the team balked at his requests, Miller, still the only Cleveland player to make the Pro Bowl since 1999, threatened a contract holdout during training camp. He already had rankled Browns coach Butch Davis by skipping most of the team's offseason workouts.

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