The Broncos and Chiefs have tagged players for the second straight year, with Denver’s negotiation taking on a higher-profile tone as Kansas City’s unfolds quietly. Corry sees the Broncos structuring a Miller deal in the same way the Eagles constructed Fletcher Cox‘s extension as the compromise necessary to finish the deal.
Denver’s offer of six years and $114.5MM has reportedly satisfied Miller’s camp, but its $38.5MM in fully guaranteed money hasn’t. In Cox’s six-year, $103MM extension, the converting defensive tackle will see $55MM fully guaranteed by next March. The Broncos moving up a portion of Miller’s guaranteed money to vest at the same time and giving the two-time All-Pro approximately $58MM by March of 2017 should be enough to induce a signing, Corry writes, with the former agent not buying the linebacker’s threats to sit out the season since no franchise-tagged player has missed an entire year since Chiefs defensive lineman Dan Williams in 1998.
As for the Chiefs’ current franchise player, Berry should sign for around the same amount as Harrison Smith (five years, $51.5MM), Corry notes. The Chiefs, as they did for several of their recent contract extensions, will likely backload that deal as well. Kansas City is up against the 2016 cap, with $1.17MM in space, so a Berry signing would alleviate that burden somewhat. However, it would add to the Chiefs’ bevy of commitments come 2017 since they stand to possess barely $4MM in space without a Berry deal on the books.
Weigh in with your thoughts on who will and won’t sign long-term deals in PFR’s latest Community Tailgate.
Here’s more from the AFC West.
- Denver’s impasse with Miller poses as unique since owner Pat Bowlen is not part of this negotiation, having been stricken with Alzheimer’s. This leaves the full decision up to John Elway, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk writes. Florio doubts Broncos president Joe Ellis will overrule Elway’s recommendations for the deal given the Denver GM’s track record. Elway called Miller over the weekend in an attempt to repair a relationship that’s taken some hits recently.
- The Broncos’ decision to move on from Evan Mathis after one year stemmed from the former All-Pro guard’s age and condition, Troy Renck of the Denver post writes. Now a Cardinals cog on a one-year deal similar to the one he signed in Denver last August, Mathis battled an ankle injury in 2015 and partook in a three-guard rotation with Louis Vasquez and Max Garcia before returning to full-time status in the playoffs.
- The Broncos will be more of a run-oriented team in 2016, Jeff Legwold of ESPN.com writes. A reliance on either Mark Sanchez or Paxton Lynch at quarterback points to a greater emphasis on a ground game that enjoyed an inconsistent 2015 season. “I don’t think there’s a question what coach [Gary Kubiak] wants to do,” C.J. Anderson said recently, via Legwold. “All you have to do is look out there and see a fullback running around … I mean, we even drafted one. [Kubiak] wants to run the ball.” The Broncos drafted fullback Andy Janovich in the sixth round after being a one-back offense in a season spent shifting between styles in Peyton Manning‘s final year.
- A poll conducted by Competitive Edge Research showed the Chargers‘ downtown stadium measure probably wouldn’t pass even if just 50% of the vote was needed, Jason Cole of Bleacher Report tweets. A California State Supreme Court decision, though, currently would require the measure to receive a two-thirds majority to pass, stacking the odds against the Chargers. Cole tweets the team’s options could be remaining in Mission Valley or sharing a stadium with the Rams in Inglewood, adding the team prefers neither option. The NFL reporter said Tuesday the Chargers were looking at an Eastern Los Angeles site as well.