Von Miller

Broncos’ Von Miller Tests Positive For COVID-19

Broncos star Von Miller has tested positive for COVID-19, according to his agent (Twitter link via NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport). His agent says that the Super Bowl 50 MVP is in good spirits as he recuperates at home. 

[RELATED: Rams’ Allen Tests Positive For COVID-19]

Miller’s camp has kept the Broncos in the loop and the pass rusher plans to speak publicly on the matter tomorrow. Unfortunately, Miller is not the first player to test positive for the coronavirus. Earlier this week, we learned that Rams center Brian Allen has also been diagnosed with the illness. And, early on in the pandemic, Saints head coach Sean Payton tested positive. Allen is symptom-free, Payton has been cleared, and Miller appears to be in okay shape, but thousands have lost their lives to COVID-19. Miller’s diagnosis is yet another reminder to stay safe, practice good hygiene, and stay indoors whenever possible.

You fatigue real easy,” Payton said after his recovery. “I’d be up moving around, doing something, then you’d want to lay down again. That lasted three or four days. By the time I got the test results back I had begun feeling better. I had my appetite back.”

Miller, 31, is set to enter his tenth season with the Broncos.

And, as Denver 7’s Troy Renck notes, Miller has been dealing with asthma and chronic allergies since childhood. We here at PFR wish Miller a speedy, and complete, recovery.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Broncos Rumors: Lock, Lindsay, Miller

As probably the second-best decade in Broncos history concludes, here is the latest out of Denver going into the 2020s. We’ll begin with the team’s quarterback situation.

  • Drew Lock led the Broncos to four wins in his five-start rookie season, and John Elway confirmed the perpetually quarterback-seeking franchise will not be in the market for another starter. “Obviously he finished, did a heck of a job, won four out of five games and played well, but he still has a long way to go; he’s got a lot of work to do,” Elway said, via ESPN.com’s Jeff Legwold. “We’re excited about where Drew is so, we don’t like to show our hand. But it’s unrealistic to say we’re going a different direction.” Lock’s rookie contract will give the Broncos flexibility they have not had in a few years.
  • However, the Broncos’ September restructure of Joe Flacco‘s contract will mean a $13.6MM dead-money tag if/when he is released. Flacco is not expected to be on next year’s Broncos team but does not want to retire yet. Although, Flacco would be open to a Broncos backup role going forward, video link via Mike Klis of 9News. Should Flacco return to full strength, he could be an attractive backup option somewhere. The 34-year-old quarterback will go through an MRI in the next month to determine if he needs neck surgery, per Legwold.
  • Phillip Lindsay became the first UDFA to start his career 2-for-2 in 1,000-yard rushing seasons, Elway said the Broncos will look into redoing his contract, per The Athletic’s Nicki Jhabvala (on Twitter). Lindsay’s rookie deal runs through 2020, but UDFAs can be extended after two years as opposed to the three-year waiting period for draft picks. Lindsay, 25, is set to make just $660K next season, so expect extension discussions to commence. The Denver native would prefer a new contract this offseason, per Jhabvala (on Twitter).
  • Von Miller backtracked on mid-December comments that could have been construed as ominous, clarifying he did not want to leave Denver. And he will be part of the 2020 Broncos. The Broncos will pick up Miller’s option, Elway said (via Klis, on Twitter). The 30-year-old standout’s option — due by March 17 — calls for $6MM of his $18MM 2020 payment to become fully guaranteed, which would essentially ensure he will be part of next year’s Denver edition. Miller’s six-year, $114.5MM deal runs through the 2021 season.

West Notes: Miller, Broncos, Gruden

A few weeks ago, Broncos star linebacker Von Miller expressed disappointment and frustration at his team’s lack of success this season. However, the veteran was quick to clarify that he wants to stick around Denver for the foreseeable future.

“I said before the week, I’m tied to the Denver Broncos,” Miller told Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic (Twitter link). “It’s pro sports and we all know things can change here and there. But for me and my mindset, it’s a marriage and I’m not looking forward to divorcing anytime soon.”

Miller backed up those claims tonight, as the linebacker expressed optimism in the 2020 iteration of the Denver Broncos (via Jhabvala on Twitter).

Let’s check out some more notes out of the western divisions:

  • While the Raiders will soon be able to lure free agents to Las Vegas, the front office will have to do a better job of evaluating players if they hope to become a contender, writes Vic Tafur of The Athletic. Jon Gruden‘s acquisitions have generally been hit or miss, with Tafur pointing out disappointing deals for linebacker Tahir Whitehead and safety Marcus Gilchrist in 2018 and wideout Tyrell Williams and offensive lineman Trent Brown in 2019. On the flip side, Tafur did recognize the organization for snagging tight end Darren Waller and lineman Richie Incognito.
  • The trial date for the Klemmer-Wallace lawsuit vs Pat Bowlen trustees has been set for September 1st, tweets Mike Klis of 9News in Denver. Broncos owner Pat Bowlen passed away in June, and he ceded control of the club to three trustees during his battle with Alzheimer’s. These trustees were vested with the power to transfer the team to one of Pat Bowlen’s seven children, and Brittany Bowlen became the favorite to ultimately take the reins. But not long after her status as the frontrunner became clear, Beth Bowlen Wallace went public with her desire to own the Broncos. Bill Bowlen, Pat Bowlen’s brother, then filed his suit to remove the trustees.
  • We learned earlier tonight that Seahawks defensive end Jadeveon Clowney is confident that he’ll play this weekend against the 49ers.

Broncos Rumors: Miller, Wolfe, Harris

Set for their third straight losing season for the first time since 1970-72, the Broncos did see their best player make the Pro Bowl on Tuesday. But Von Miller‘s postgame comments Sunday left some uncertainty about his future in Denver.

I don’t really even know what to say. I don’t know how we got to this point. I don’t know why we [are losing] like this. It’s tough,” Miller said, via USA Today’s Lorenzo Reyes. “I’m 30 years old and going out there with whatever issues I’m dealing with and still coming up so short. It’s tough playing nine years with Chris Harris and dealing with these last couple of ones, especially with the type of standard that we had when I came into the league. We went to the playoffs five years straight.

“I know I’m getting ahead of myself, and I’m talking about more than just a game, but this is tough. I’m really lost for words.”

Miller said Tuesday he does not want to leave the Broncos “at all” but was expressing frustration about the situation the team resides, per Troy Renck of Denver7. The Broncos won at least 12 games in each of Peyton Manning‘s four seasons but have failed to win 10 in a season since. Miller has two seasons remaining on his six-year, $114.5MM contract; they are option years at $17.5MM apiece. The Broncos have until the final day of the 2019 and ’20 league years to pick up those respective options.

Here is the latest out of Denver:

  • Derek Wolfe has made progress since an elbow dislocation ended his season. The eighth-year defensive end did not require surgery, via Renck. While John Elway said he plans to keep Simmons in Denver, Wolfe told Renck no contract discussions have occurred between his camp and the Broncos. One of four Super Bowl 50 starters left with the Broncos, Wolfe would like to stay in Denver on a third contract. The Broncos have Wolfe, Chris Harris, Justin Simmons and Shelby Harris as free agents-to-be.
  • Chris Harris has said he plans to test the market, which he did not do on what would have been his first free agency go-round four years ago, but would like to stay with the Broncos. There’s a “very good chance” Harris and the Broncos work something out to keep him in Denver, Ryan O’Halloran of the Denver Post writes. Though the 30-year-old defender has endured an up-and-down season, in being the rare cornerback to travel with No. 1 wideouts, the four-time Pro Bowler remains Denver’s top corner. No known discussions have occurred between Harris and the Broncos since his summer pay raise, but some support exists in the building to extend the ninth-year player.
  • Kareem Jackson will not return for the Broncos until 2020. The best of the team’s high-priced free agent haul received a two-game suspension Tuesday.

AFC Rumors: OBJ, Patriots, Miller, Raiders

Closing out the worst season of his six-year career, from a per-game production standpoint, Odell Beckham Jr. did not say whether he wants to be part of the 2020 Browns. He’s under contract through 2023.

I couldn’t sit here and tell you whether I’m going to be here, want to be here, don’t want to be here,” Beckham said, via Mary Kay Cabot of cleveland.com, adding that Jarvis Landry‘s presence has energized him about being with the Browns. “This is exactly where I’m at now and I wouldn’t rather be anywhere else. God has a plan. In the offseason, everything will figure itself out. I feel like I’ve been here before, answering questions about the next team when I’m on a team already. That’s just something I’m going to tune out for right now. Catch me in the offseason and we’ll see what happens.”

Despite Beckham’s disappointing year, the Browns will surely attempt to see if their recent trade acquisition can build chemistry with Baker Mayfield and bounce back in 2020. Beckham’s contract having no more guaranteed money on it, thanks to the Giants taking that on, would make the three-time Pro Bowler an interesting trade piece — if this situation did progress to that point. Beckham is due $14MM in 2020.

Here is the latest from the AFC:

  • Tom Brady sought a longer commitment from the Patriots this year, but given one-year pay bump the sides agreed on, NBC Sports Boston’s Tom Curran expects the iconic quarterback to depart in 2020. Brady’s age figures to be a sticking point for Bill Belichick signing off on a multiyear deal, per Curran, just as it seemed to be in recent years. A scenario where Brady tries to play until age 45 elsewhere would obviously create a major need for the Pats, who traded Brady’s would-be heir apparent to the 49ers two years ago, and would thrust them to the center of what will be a complicated QB marketplace.
  • As for Antonio Brown coming back to the Patriots to aid the defending Super Bowl champions’ receiving situation, that seems next to impossible. The free agent wide receiver shared a social media post (Twitter link) questioning Robert Kraft‘s desire to win (and one that referenced his alleged acts in the Florida spa sting). Brown, who has filed grievances against the Patriots, figures to be one of the most controversial free agents in NFL history in 2020.
  • Von Miller is battling an MCL sprain, one that forced him to miss his first game since he suffered an ACL tear in December 2013. The Broncos‘ star pass rusher is iffy for Sunday’s game against the Texans. The ninth-year linebacker indicated (via Nicki Jhabvala of The Athletic, subscription required) he should not play until he can utilize his array of pass-rushing moves, pointing to him missing at least one more week.
  • The Raiders worked out tight ends Matt Flanagan, Pharoah McKever and Bryce Williams this week, Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle tweets. Oakland also auditioned tight end Cole Wick, who booked the emergency tight end gig.

AFC Notes: Jackson, Miller, Fitzpatrick

Former Ravens offensive coordinator Marty Mornhinweg and the Ravens released a statement denying a report by Michael Lombardi of The Athletic claiming Mornhinweg wanted to move Lamar Jackson to wide receiver. Jackson, of course, was the subject of much debate as a draft prospect with many pundits, including ESPN’s Bill Polian, calling for a position change to wide receiver.

Jackson, however, remained adamant that he was a quarterback, was selected in the first round by Baltimore and has taken the NFL by storm over the past two seasons. Mornhinweg, who was replaced by Greg Roman as the team’s offensive coordinator entering this season, made clear in his statement that “My thoughts before the draft, and even more when we started working with Lamar, was that this young man was going to be a special quarterback.” Regardless of what his opinions were at the time, Jackson has proven he is an NFL signalcaller.

Here’s more notes from around the AFC:

  • The Broncos were deflated after blowing a 20-0 lead in their 27-23 loss to the Vikings on Sunday. To try and help team moral, all-pro linebacker Von Miller organized a team dinner just a couple hours after landing back in Denver, according to Kyle Newman of the Denver Post. Per Newman’s report, the dinner was a resounding success. Players brought their family members and seemed to rebound from their loss and get ready for another week.
  • Dolphins head coach Brian Flores told reporters that Ryan Fitzpatrick will remain Miami’s starting quarterback this week against the Browns, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. Flores, however, would not rule out the possibility of backup quarterback Josh Rosen retaking the job from Fitzpatrick at some point this season.

Eagles Eyeing Broncos’ Chris Harris Jr.

The Eagles have called the Broncos about Chris Harris Jr., according to sources who spoke with Dianna Russini of ESPN.com (on Twitter). At this time, however, their asking price is too high.

The Broncos are paper thin at cornerback, but they also have no real shot at contention this year. With a chance to add to their draft stockpile, they could move Harris to a team that could put the veteran to good use, like the Eagles.

Meanwhile, the Broncos have no plans to trade Von Miller, sources tell Russini (Twitter link). The former Super Bowl MVP and perennial Pro Bowl pass rusher is signed through the 2021 season. Harris, however, is in a contract year and expressed a desire to test the market after a weeks-long holdout this offseason.

Denver landed Harris as a 2011 UDFA and paired the slot defender with Aqib Talib and Bradley Roby in 2014. While that trio helped the Broncos to the 2015 title, Harris is now the team’s only reliable corner. The four-time Pro Bowler could profile as a player the Broncos would like to extend, despite Harris being 30, due to an inability to find cornerbacks since that 2014 offseason. However, the Broncos are staring at a rebuild and have only a handful of starters from their Super Bowl team left. They traded Emmanuel Sanders last week.

Philadelphia finished second in the Jalen Ramsey derby and inquired on Detroit’s Darius Slay. It’s clear Howie Roseman recognizes his group of corners could use help, with the Eagles’ pass defense having struggled for much of this season. Harris has traveled with No. 1 wide receivers this year, as opposed to locking down the slot, so that would obviously be a key asset for a team looking to get back in the surefire contender mix. The Eagles have been in on Harris for a bit now but may have to deal a second-round pick to acquire him.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

GMs Expecting Active Trade Deadline

The NFL has experienced a dramatic rise in significant trades over the past several years, and there may be a few noteworthy swaps going down this month as we get closer to the October 29 trade deadline. Indeed, Jason La Canfora of CBS Sports says there is a sense among general managers that we may see more trades in advance of this year’s deadline than ever before, largely because there is a larger gulf between pretenders and contenders than in seasons past (indeed, there are still six winless teams, which is the highest number at this point in the season since the 1970 merger).

La Canfora says the teams most actively laying groundwork for potential deals are the Saints, Eagles, Ravens, Chiefs, Patriots, and Seahawks. Of course, a number of those clubs have already been pursuing Jacksonville CB Jalen Ramsey, and the Saints, Eagles, Ravens, and Chiefs are casting a wide net for cornerback upgrades.

One of this year’s still-winless clubs, the Broncos, are reportedly more open to moving veteran pieces than they were last year, as La Canfora writes in a separate piece, with Derek Wolfe, Chris Harris, and Emmanuel Sanders all generating interest. Wolfe could make sense for Baltimore, and the Saints are expected to renew their pursuit of Sanders. Even Von Miller could be on the block, per La Canfora, especially since all of his major bonuses and guarantees have already been paid. Miller, 30, is reportedly open to a change of scenery at this point, but Ian Rapoport of the NFL Network says the Broncos will not trade him (video link). However, the other players mentioned above could be available if Denver continues to scuffle.

But while Denver may be willing to talk shop, rival GMs are skeptical that the 0-4 Bengals, led by old-school owner Mike Brown, will be amenable to moving big-name vets despite their fading fortunes. La Canfora’s sources say Cincinnati could net a first-round pick for WR A.J. Green if the acquiring club is able to work out a new contract with him as a condition of the trade (and if Green recovers from his foot injury soon). The Patriots and Saints could make a push for Green or Bengals tight end Tyler Eifert, and Cincy could also swing deals for players like Geno Atkins and Carlos Dunlap if the club is willing to listen to offers.

Like fellow winless outfits Denver and Cincinnati, the Jets could be active in shopping veteran players in advance of the deadline. La Canfora specifically names Kelechi Osemele and Leonard Williams as players who could be on the move, though he says there has been no trade chatter surrounding Le’Veon Bell at this point.

Finally, though the 0-4 Redskins have been steadfastly refusing to trade Trent Williams, some believe that the team will relent at some point and will ship Williams to a contender in need of O-line help.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

West Rumors: Miller, Celek, 49ers, RBs

Von Miller turned 30 this offseason and will soon start his ninth NFL season, but it doesn’t look like the Broncos will need to consider making plans for a near-future Miller retirement. Denver’s all-time sack leader said (via USA Today’s Lila Bromberg) he wants to play long enough to make a run at Bruce Smith‘s NFL record. That will be quite difficult, with Miller (98 sacks) having averaged 12.25 sacks per season (a figure weighed down by his 2013 suspension-shortened slate) and Smith having recorded 200 during his 19-year career. Miller would need to average 10.2 sacks over the next 10 seasons to get there. However, Miller sits second among active NFLers in sacks — trailing only Terrell Suggs (132). While the odds are against him eclipsing the Smith standard that has stood for 16 years, it is notable the likely Hall of Fame-bound pass rusher plans on playing for several more seasons. Three seasons remain on Miller’s six-year, $114.1MM contract.

Here’s the latest from the West divisions, shifting to the NFC West:

  • The back surgery 49ers tight end Garrett Celek underwent this month features an approximate two-month recovery timetable, Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area notes, adding that it no longer appears certain the 31-year-old skill-position cog will be able to continue his career. Celek ended last season in concussion protocol, where he remains for procedural purposes, and the extension he signed in 2016 has just one more season remaining on it. The 49ers prepared for this possibility by signing Levine Toilolo, drafting Kaden Smith in the sixth round and adding Wyoming product Tyree Mayfield as a UDFA.
  • Tevin Coleman‘s history with Kyle Shanahan, and the time Jerick McKinnon and Matt Breida missed this offsason, makes him the best bet to be San Francisco’s top back, Maiocco writes. McKinnon is expected to return for the start of training camp, but it has been a while since the former Vikings running back — who received $18MM guaranteed in 2018 — has played. The 49ers will likely make one of these players a healthy scratch on game days, with Maiocco adding the presences of Kyle Juszczyk and top special-teamer Raheem Mostert will force Shanahan to deactivate one of his top three backs. This situation bears monitoring during the preseason, as it would seem a trade could benefit the 49ers.
  • Robert Nkemdiche‘s recent arrest may spell the end of his underwhelming Cardinals stay.
  • More clarity emerged on the Todd Gurley front, but the two-time All-Pro Rams running back’s situation figures to remain murky until we near the regular season.

NFL Contract Restructures: 3/15/18

With the 2018 league year officially underway, a number of teams have reworked player contracts in order to create additional cap space. Here’s what moves clubs have made today:

  • Broncos: Created $12.375MM in 2018 cap space by converting $16MM of LB Von Miller‘s $18.5MM base salary into a signing bonus (Twitter link via Adam Schefter of ESPN.com).
  • Cardinals: G Mike Iupati accepted $3MM pay cut. 2018 base salary reduced from $7.75MM to $5MM. $250K roster bonus eliminated. 2019 contract season is now voidable (Twitter link via Field Yates of ESPN.com).
  • Cowboys: Created ~$7.5MM in 2018 cap space by restructuring C Travis Frederick‘s contract (Twitter link via Jane Slater of NFL.com).
  • Eagles: Created $5.407MM in 2018 cap space by converting $7.21MM of TE Zach Ertz‘s $8MM base salary into a fully guaranteed roster bonus (Twitter link via Yates).
  • Ravens: Created $5.625MM in 2018 cap space by converting $7.5MM of DT Brandon Williams‘ $8.5MM base salary into a signing bonus (Twitter link via Yates).