Miller suspension could be costly for Broncos, literally

AP

In addition to losing the ability to play in six regular-season games, Broncos linebacker Von Miller will lose plenty of money.  For starters, he’s out more than $806,000 in 2013 base salary.

Likewise, he faces the loss of 6/17ths of his signing bonus allocation for 2013.  At a total signing bonus of $13.773 million and an allocation per year of $3,443,250, that’s a forfeiture of $1,214,264.

It also will be costly for the Broncos.  If, at the end of the 2013 season, Commissioner Roger Goodell decides to extend the Club Remittance Policy to the suspensions of pro personnel director Tom Heckert and director of player personnel Matt Russell, Miller’s becomes the third team suspension — exposing the Broncos to a fine in the amount of 33 percent of his lost salary.

That’s a fine of $266,033.

It’s unclear whether the Broncos will be required to pay the amount. “As part of the club remittance policy [regarding] personal conduct, policy on anabolic steroids and related substances and also substances of abuse, the Commissioner will continue to reserve the option of imposing discipline on clubs in any case involving non-player conduct,” league spokesman Brian McCarthy recently explained to PFT via email.

This means that Goodell can, if he so chooses, regard Heckert as the first offense, Russell as the second offense, and Miller as the third offense under the Club Remittance Policy.

The Broncos can still net nearly $1 million, if they choose to invoke Appendix D to the substance-abuse policy, which makes mandatory the partial forfeiture of signing bonus amounts for suspensions.  But the Broncos first have to choose to seek repayment.  Given their relationship with Miller and his talent level, the Broncos may opt to let him keep the signing bonus money.

Maybe the fairest outcome would be for Miller to cover the amount of the fine, if the Broncos indeed are required to surrender $266,033.