Star pass rusher Von Miller was prepared to accept the Broncos’ six-year, $114.5MM offer on Monday night, but the deal fell apart over guaranteed money, reports Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports. While the linebacker softened on his desire to land $22MM annually by showing he’d take $19MM per season, Denver was only willing to include $38.5MM in guarantees and the team would’ve been able to easily escape the contract after Year 2. Miller could’ve netted another $1.3MM in non-guaranteed money during each of the first two seasons, but that obviously wasn’t an enticing enough add-on for him to accept the offer. As noted by Robinson, at $38.5MM in guarantees, the Broncos’ offer falls well short of the $60MM the Dolphins gave Ndamukong Suh last year and the $52.5MM the Giants awarded Olivier Vernon earlier this offseason. Miller is a four-time All-Pro and the reigning Super Bowl MVP, whereas Vernon has never so much as made a Pro Bowl.
The reason the Broncos are playing hardball with Miller, according to Robinson, is because they still have control over him via the franchise tag. As an exclusive tag recipient, the 27-year-old Miller doesn’t even have the ability to negotiate a deal with another team. With that in mind, the Broncos have shut down negotiations with Miller, which Robinson notes is an unusual tactic for the club. In recent years, the Broncos showed a willingness to hammer out new contracts with receiver Demaryius Thomas and left tackle Ryan Clady, respectively, into the middle of July. As of now, that isn’t the case with Miller, which has led to an ugly situation that could see the two sides head for a divorce over the next year.
Here’s more of the latest on Miller:
- Either forgoing this year’s franchise sum of $14.1MM or the $38.5MM in guarantees the Broncos have offered Miller would carry notable risk for the defender, writes Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. If Miller sits the season out, he’d be leaving significant money on the table with no hope of getting it back. Further, it’s not a sure thing that Miller would receive a better offer from Denver or anyone else in 2017. As reported earlier today, though, the Broncos won’t be able to use the exclusive tag again on Miller if he sits out this season. They could place the non-exclusive version on him next year, but a team that signs Miller to an offer sheet not matched by Denver would only have to surrender a first- and third-round pick (not the traditional two first-rounders) for his services.
- Despite the negative turn negotiations have taken, head coach Gary Kubiak is “still optimistic” that a long-term deal with Miller will get done this summer (Twitter link via Lindsay Jones of USA Today). “Both sides are working hard,” Kubiak said.
- Ed Werder of ESPN has further details on Denver’s offer, reporting (on Twitter) that the $4.5MM extra the team is willing to give Miller would come via an annual workout bonus. Miller would have to partake in 95 percent of workouts in order to collect that money.
Zach Links contributed to this post.