Von Miller holdout rumors may have just been addressed. Miller won’t be attending Denver Broncos offseason workouts, confirming some fears that many fans had following the 2015 NFL season. A report from NBC Sports states that Miller is “telling everyone” that he won’t be attending, contradicting what Broncos cornerback Aqib Talib had been stating. Talib had been assuring many analysts that Miller would be there, but it seems he didn’t have the correct information.
Rather than risking a loss of Von Miller in free agency, the Denver Broncos applied a franchise tag to him this NFL offseason. The franchise tender would give Miller about $14.129 million for the 2016 NFL season, guaranteeing him a full salary if he signs the contract. Miller still hasn’t signed it, though, withholding his name to work for a bigger payday. It’s a tactic that some players use, but it comes with a lot of risk. If Miller hurts himself, the Broncos don’t have to pay the contract.
This news about a Von Miller holdout isn’t that surprising, as he had publicly stated that he wants a long-term contract from the Denver Broncos. This is the same situation that the Broncos had when Demaryius Thomas decided to hold out when he received a franchise tag last year. Broncos general manager John Elway was not pleased about the situation and didn’t shy away from telling the press about his opinions. It’s very likely that Elway isn’t happy with Miller now either.
What makes this holdout and refusal to sign the franchise tag a bit different for Miller is that he is currently participating on ABC’s Dancing With the Stars. Should he suffer an injury on the ABC reality competition show, the Broncos would not have to pay him a dime of the contract offer. Even if he is not pleased with the franchise tag, Miller could sign a letter of protection and participate in the offseason program while still negotiating on a long-term deal.
Von Miller is the 2015 NFL Super Bowl MVP and was also named the 2011 NFL AP Defensive Rookie of the Year. Miller has made four AFC Pro Bowl teams and has also won the Defensive Player of the Week Award two times. Over his five years and 72 regular season games with the Denver Broncos, Miller has registered 60 sacks, 17 forced fumbles, five fumble recoveries, and two defensive touchdowns. He is also coming off a postseason where he had five sacks and an interception to lead the Broncos to a championship.
The Broncos selected Miller as the No. 2 overall pick of the 2011 NFL Draft. The Texas A&M product received a four-year, $21 million deal as a rookie, with all of the money guaranteed. During the 2015 NFL season, Miller made just over $9.8 million for the Broncos and was expecting to receive a huge pay raise in the offseason. That never materialized, as the two sides couldn’t come to terms during contract negotiations. Instead, the Broncos offered him a franchise tag, which also makes him one of the highest-paid linebackers in the NFL if he signs it.
There is very little recourse for a player in the NFL when he is offered a franchise tag from his respective team. While he is under no obligation to sign the deal, it means he still remains under complete team control and cannot enter free agency. Teams use the franchise tag in order to make sure that a player isn’t lost during the NFL offseason and that they get the star player back on the field. This Von Miller holdout could still amount to nothing if his agent and the Denver Broncos can come to new terms before the NFL preseason. Without that, though, a reality is that this could drag on.
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