Quarterback was to back up Manning

Updated: May 13, 2005, 9:42 AM ET
By Len Pasquarelli | ESPN.com

The New York Giants have reached an injury settlement with Jim Miller, severing ties with the veteran quarterback who was supposed to serve as the primary backup to Eli Manning.

 Jim Miller
Miller

The move had been anticipated since Miller underwent hip surgery last month, and the decision came only days after the Giants were awarded three-year veteran and former Washington Redskins backup Tim Hasselbeck through a waiver claim.

The addition of Hasselbeck left New York with five quarterbacks on the roster and, given Miller's current physical status, it was not surprising that he was the odd man out.

In the wake of Miller's surgery to repair a torn hip labrum, the Giants attempted to sign Doug Flutie. Flutie, 42, chose instead to sign a one-year deal with the New England Patriots. The Giants then snapped up Hasselbeck on waivers.

Being released is the latest setback in a long string of misfortune for Miller, who has been beset by injuries the past three years. The original prognosis following surgery was that Miller would need three to four months of rehabilitation, but he is already off crutches and said to be ahead of schedule.

Miller had hoped that New York might retain him for another month to monitor his recovery and gauge whether he might be ready to play again some time in camp. But it was considered unlikely the Giants would take five quarterbacks to training camp, and the team decided to act now. Under terms of an injury settlement the Giants could consider re-signing Miller down the road, when he is fully recovered.

When the Giants signed Miller to a one-year, $790,000 contract in early March, it seemed like a great fit for both parties.

Miller, 34, hasn't thrown a pass in the last two seasons, including a stint in New England in 2004 in which he was the No. 3 "emergency" quarterback for all 16 games. In terms of serving as a mentor to Manning, however, and lending a veteran presence to the Giants depth chart, he figured to be an excellent addition. He certainly possessed the demeanor and lack of ego the Giants needed in their No. 2 quarterback.

The 10-year veteran has battled shoulder and ankle injuries the past two years and has not appeared in a game since midway through the 2002 campaign with the Chicago Bears. He signed with Tampa Bay in 2003 but was released when his rehabilitation lingered well into camp, then signed with New England last summer.

Last month, Miller began to experience back pain and an examination revealed the torn hip labrum.

Miller has started in 27 of his 37 career appearances, and completed 610 of 1,047 passes for 6,387 yards, with 36 touchdown passes and 31 interceptions. His best season came in 2001, when he started 13 games and led the Bears to a division title.

In addition to Manning and Hasselbeck, the Giants quarterback depth chart includes Jesse Palmer, a four-year veteran, and first-year pro Jared Lorenzen.

Len Pasquarelli is a senior NFL writer for ESPN.com. To check out Len's chat archive, click here Insider.