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Von Miller, Aldon Smith may not get their new contracts after 2013

Denver Broncos v Carolina Panthers Getty Images

In the coming offseason, the first wave of players signed to contracts limited by the rookie wage scale will become eligible for new deals.  Two of them may have squandered their chances of hitting the jackpot early.

It’s believed that the 2011 rookies who have become great players will be lining up at their owners’ doors, demanding the money that was kept from them by a system aimed at keeping windfalls from going to incoming players who never earn it.  From Panthers quarterback Cam Newton to Bengals receiver A.J. Green to Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson to Falcons receiver Julio Jones to Texans defensive lineman J.J. Watt, guys taken at the top of the draft two-plus years ago will want next year what they should have gotten in the first place.

Two of the top-ten picks from 2011 who became top-flight talents may have to wait even longer.  While there’s no disputing that Broncos linebacker Von Miller and 49ers linebacker Aldon Smith are among the best defensive players in the league, off-field issues could make their teams more reluctant to make a gigantic financial investment in them after only three seasons.

Miller currently is serving a six-game suspension for cheating the league’s drug-testing process.  He’s one slip-up away from a minimum banishment of one year.  Smith currently is in rehab, which likely will cause him to miss four games.  He could still be suspended by the league for a recent DUI arrest, his second while in the NFL.

Look for the 49ers to focus not on Aldon Smith but quarterback Colin Kaepernick in the coming offseason, and to delay Smith’s deal until after the 2014 season.  If Smith doesn’t like it, he can hold out.  But given his situation and the fact that the 49ers are paying Smith while he’s in rehab, it’ll be hard for him to muster much fan or media support if he takes a stand.

With the Broncos, it’s less clear whether they plan to pay Miller after the 2013 season.  They could structure a deal with maximum protection against another violation of the substance-abuse policy.  Or they could simply take the leap of faith that Miller, whom the organization unconditionally has supported despite some fairly strong allegations of misconduct, has gotten the message.

Our current assessment is that Smith won’t get his new deal after 2013 and that Miller possibly will.  That assessment is subject to change based on what both players do, or don’t do, once they return to the football field later this season.

And what they do, or don’t do, away from the field.

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29 Responses to “Von Miller, Aldon Smith may not get their new contracts after 2013”
  1. logicalvoicesays says: Sep 28, 2013 9:23 AM

    More Redskins news please.

  2. blakeden says: Sep 28, 2013 9:28 AM

    All I can say is BS……Florio you said it in the article they are among the BEST defensive players in the league… Neither team wants or will allow them to go away or piss them off. It’s all about winning…..Period.

  3. jayhawk6 says: Sep 28, 2013 9:28 AM

    Von Miller may have character issues as large as his drug problems. While there may have been other players who bribed a urine specimen collector, he is the first to be exposed.

    Denver needs to be very wary.

  4. FinFan68 says: Sep 28, 2013 9:56 AM

    Very good players but subpar behavior–even for the ridiculously low NFL standards. Save the early negotiations for the guys that earns it on AND off the field.

    Their behavior suggests they would not handle a huge windfall very well.

  5. yanksjetsknicks says: Sep 28, 2013 9:58 AM

    blakeden says:
    Sep 28, 2013 9:28 AM
    All I can say is BS……Florio you said it in the article they are among the BEST defensive players in the league… Neither team wants or will allow them to go away or piss them off. It’s all about winning…..Period.

    ________________

    Are either guy currently with their team? Why risk huge money to guys you can’t count on? If Von Miller had a history of injury (aka his drug use) and missed 6 games due to injury (drugs), do you think a team would want to pay him huge money?

  6. nunezmc says: Sep 28, 2013 10:09 AM

    Denver needs to use that money on their other young Pro-Bowler, Demaryius Thomas. Talk about someone who has a good head on his shoulders. Pay the good guy.

  7. germanstingray says: Sep 28, 2013 10:13 AM

    “…what they should have gotten in the first place.” The rookie wage scale has accomplished exactly what was desired by the owners AND players. Proven commodities get the money, unproven rookies do not.

  8. jbaxt says: Sep 28, 2013 10:21 AM

    For a point of reference Jared Allen seemed to do well with the contract he received after 2 DWI’s. It’s about what the player can do on the field, period!

  9. sweetzinger says: Sep 28, 2013 10:40 AM

    I agree with ‘german’. Earn that big contract. Like making $750 000 your first year as an adult is hard to take.

  10. borisbulldog says: Sep 28, 2013 10:45 AM

    logicalvoicesays says: Sep 28, 2013 9:23 AM

    More Redskins news please.

    ——————————————–

    Here’s one fresh off the press- “They Blow”

  11. EJ says: Sep 28, 2013 10:46 AM

    Is anybody else thinking that Von Miller might just end up like Shawne Merriman? He can’t afford to fail another test, so therefore It ends his PED using. Will he still be the same dominant player on the field off the PED’s? Will the Broncos and John Elway take a chance on Miller knowing how it ended for Merriman and other athletes from various sports?

    I’m guessing that the Broncos will gauge his worth off of what he produces throughout the rest of the season. Miller does well, Miller gets paid. Miller tanks, so does his bank account.

  12. polegojim says: Sep 28, 2013 11:54 AM

    Miller has approached the ‘not worth it’ stage.

    Better to have a guy with lesser talent… but who will be available and ready to play every week.

    Just like TO, the guy is a li-ability, no matter what his ‘natural-ability’ may be.

    It’s ultimatum or cut loose time.

  13. dennisatunity says: Sep 28, 2013 11:58 AM

    “What they should have gotten in the first place…” According to whom? The only time it seems like they didn’t get much money is in comparison to the preposterous contracts of rookies who were a bust (or in comparison to veterans who have huge contracts and who are mediocre or worse). I’m a Seahawks fan and I am well aware that Russell Wilson isn’t making much money compared to others in the NFL. He’s certainly outperforming many of the QBs who are making millions. But he is still making over $500,000 a year!!

  14. aljack88 says: Sep 28, 2013 12:03 PM

    EJ says:
    Sep 28, 2013 10:46 AM
    Is anybody else thinking that Von Miller might just end up like Shawne Merriman? He can’t afford to fail another test, so therefore It ends his PED using. Will he still be the same dominant player on the field off the PED’s? Will the Broncos and John Elway take a chance on Miller knowing how it ended for Merriman and other athletes from various sports?
    ——————————————————–
    Totally agree with the Merriman association.

    Also, if the Broncos can win without him, why take the risk?

  15. pandapeep says: Sep 28, 2013 12:08 PM

    @EJ You do know that Von Miller got busted for smoking weed, not PEDs? And, this is so silly. The Broncos are going to give Von Miller so much money, it is a done deal. A little wacky weed versus the most sacks in the NFL in his time in the league, hmm, easy choice.
    Just make sure he knows how to clear his system before the tests..

  16. thestillcity says: Sep 28, 2013 12:28 PM

    Look for both of these guys to be offered contracts this offseason while their value is as low as it will ever be in their professional careers. I smell bargain, personally.

  17. frostymugobeer says: Sep 28, 2013 12:40 PM

    Miller is a good kid and a great football player….he just got caught doing what probably 30-40% of the nfl players do.
    they are young and rich and like to party a bit.
    so what?
    he will be fine and realize he can wait a few years, retire very wealthy then party all he wants.

  18. waxthat says: Sep 28, 2013 1:01 PM

    @panda I agree with what you’re saying. Comparing Miller to Merriman is a joke. Not even close to the same situation. Although, Aldon has the most sacks during there time in the league..not Von.

  19. matcheezmo says: Sep 28, 2013 1:14 PM

    @PandaPeep
    Actually Aldon Smith Has the most sacks since entering the league. As a matter of fact he has the most sacks ever by a player in his first three years. Im jus sayin……..Get your facts straight.

  20. tindeaux says: Sep 28, 2013 1:29 PM

    I respected all the dominant linebackers and DEs who stay clean on dope. the rest are just imposers.

  21. josephpete says: Sep 28, 2013 1:35 PM

    logicalvoicesays says:
    Sep 28, 2013 9:23 AM
    More Redskins news please.
    Here is some news for you, The Redskins are 0-3 and not very good (worst defense), they owe many draft picks for RG3 Dan Snyder is right up there with Jerry Jone as one of the worst owners, they may be changing there name soon, the coach is just collecting a check at this point and doesn’t care if they ever win another game because he’s getting fire soon.

  22. josephpete says: Sep 28, 2013 1:42 PM

    When Aldon Smith and Von miller swapped jerseys at a pre season game in SF some bad juju came with it.

  23. fdugrad says: Sep 28, 2013 1:56 PM

    Exactly WHY should they expect to get their contracts? ANY company / organization would cast a wary glance regarding upgrading or considering anything approaching long-term for these two yutzes. What the heck is surprising about that logic, even in the make-believe world of The NFL?

  24. xplicitpits says: Sep 28, 2013 2:40 PM

    If Bronco’s and 9ers don’t pay for those guys, it will be easy for someone else too. The entire NFL wishes this were true! Two Elite talents. Regardless of Drama. Sad but True they are both in for big paydays!

  25. wilsonwillbreaku says: Sep 28, 2013 3:08 PM

    Alchy Smith is the 2nd coming of Pacman Jones. An incredibly gifted athlete with a sub-human character (though most niner fans won’t care because they’re just like him). Look for him to get very little guaranteed money with an incentive laden contract that Baalke can jettison at a moment’s notice.

  26. thesportgenius says: Sep 28, 2013 4:12 PM

    Both teams did pretty well without them last week, so they are not indispensable. Having said that, they will get paid a lot of $$$ by some team, probably their own. Both have had a big time wake up call. Maybe a full time baby sitter like Dez has is the ticket along with some language in the new contract. Recreational drug use (including booze) has always been part of the NFL and as long as you play well it is tolerated. Just ask LT, Michael Irvin, Rickie W…etc.

  27. goldrush94 says: Sep 28, 2013 6:21 PM

    I don’t think Aldon Smith will care about what the fans or media think when it comes to his livelihood. If his agent tells him to hold out, he will hold out. And once he gets back to taking down the opposing QBs, all will be forgotten in 49er land.

  28. salutethis says: Sep 28, 2013 9:54 PM

    This could work out better for both teams, Denver and San Fran can lock up these ultra talented players at a more cap friendly contract. These guys are not the smartest guys on the planet, but they are smart enough to learn from their mistakes. If these guys stay out of trouble which can happen, this will let the Niners and Broncos to get a better supporting cast…Or keep the current ones..

  29. joemontanafan says: Sep 30, 2013 5:02 PM

    Could someone pay these god awful referees to go away??

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