Denver Broncos rumors about a new Von Miller contract haven’t been positive. There had been Broncos rumors about signing Miller before the NFL offseason arrived, but the two sides never got close to finalizing a new deal. A report from Sports Illustrated quoted Miller saying, “I want to say with the Broncos for 15-30 years, but money talks, you know.” They aren’t surprising comments from the Super Bowl MVP, but it also officially reveals that he does want that huge payday that his stats predict is coming in the near future.
When March rolls around, there are going to be a lot of new Denver Broncos rumors. The team has to figure out how to re-sign some key free agents to try to keep the core of the roster intact. This includes what could be a stressful quarterback situation for the front office to deal with, but also an important negotiation period with Von Miller. When Miller won the Super Bowl MVP against the Carolina Panthers, he may have added some more money to that next contract he will receive. For Miller, this will be his first new deal since signing a rookie contract with the Broncos.
A week after having 2.5 sacks against the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game, Von Miller had 2.5 sacks against the Carolina Panthers in the Super Bowl. In five seasons and 72 regular season games with the Denver Broncos, Miller already has 60 sacks, five fumble recoveries, 17 forced fumbles, an interception, and two defensive touchdowns. Miller’s best defensive season was when he totalled 18.5 for the Broncos during the 2012 NFL season. Now a big payday could be in his short-term future.
Miller made just under $9.8 million during the 2015 NFL season and now becomes an unrestricted free agent. This means that any other team in the league can extend him a contract offer in free agency. As one of the best linebackers in the NFL, it is clear that Miller is about to receive a huge pay raise. There have been many Denver Broncos rumors about whether the team can actually afford to re-sign him, but the reality may be that the Broncos also cannot afford to lose him.
If the negotiations on a long-term deal don’t work out, the Broncos may end up using the franchise tag on him. That would ultimately lead to the team paying Miller the average of the five highest 2016 linebacker cap numbers. An argument to simply apply the franchise tag is that the Broncos wouldn’t have to make him the highest paid linebacker in the NFL. That could save the team several million dollars, especially since he would only receive an average of the top five players at his position.
The top paid linebacker (currently) for the 2016 NFL season is Justin Houston of the Kansas City Chiefs. He has a cap hit number of $19.1 million so far. The next four highest paid linebackers (so far) are Lawrence Thomas of the Pittsburgh Steelers at $15.1 million, Clay Matthews of the Green Bay Packers at $13.75 million, DeMarcus Ware of the Denver Broncos at $11.7 million, and Jerod Mayo of the New England Patriots at $11.4 million. Putting Miller into this group through the franchise tag would indeed save the Broncos some money, but it could also lead to some negative feelings from the Super Bowl MVP.
Heading into the NFL offseason, the Broncos only have about $16.7 million in salary cap space. That’s without a new deal for Von Miller or a backup quarterback to replace Brock Osweiler. It also doesn’t take into account any rookies that the Broncos select in the 2016 NFL Draft. This situation will lead to a lot of additional Denver Broncos rumors as the team tries to find ways to free up money for Miller and other free agents. A stark realization could be that the Broncos cannot afford to give Miller any more money than the franchise tag allows.
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