Von Miller Mulling Sitting Out 2016 Season as Contract Talks Turn Sour
When the Super Bowl 50 Champion Denver Broncos visited the White House earlier this week, Super Bowl 50 MVP linebacker Von Miller reported contract talks were going well. Things have gone downhill since then.
The Broncos slapped their franchise tag on Miller in March after the Super Bowl, as expected, and both sides predicted no issues working it out. With 60 sacks in 72 games and an MVP performance in both the AFC Championship Game and Super Bowl 50, Miller understands what he’s worth. If he doesn’t become the highest paid defensive player of all time, he should at least be very close.
Through the franchise tag, the Broncos will be paying Miller a little over $14 million this season—significantly less than the going rate of $20 million a year for a player of his caliber. Knowing they had Von wrapped up for 2016, the Broncos made a weak $114.5 million offer with less than $40 million guaranteed. Miller wasn’t having any of it, and he is now considering sitting out this season should John Elway and the Broncos opt not to sweeten the pot.
With Olivier Vernon and Justin Houston both making $52.5 million guaranteed and Ndamukong Suh sitting on a minimum of $60 million, Miller will need at least an additional $10 million guaranteed if the Broncos want to reopen talks.
So what is Elway to do? If Von were actually to sit out 2016, it would look horrible on him and the team coming off of a Super Bowl victory; however, the repercussions would be even worse.
You see, if Miller sits this season, sure, he won’t get his $14 million, but it also prevents the Broncos from tagging him again after the year. Miller would then essentially hit the open market as a restricted free agent, and I promise you he’ll fetch more than $20 million a season from someone. Hell, did you see what Suh got from the Miami Dolphins?
The Broncos would be asinine to lose Miller for a game, never mind a season. They have until July 15 to work something out, and it better not take that long.