As more and more teams pick up the fifth-year option on 2011 first-round picks, the Broncos have yet to pick up the option on linebacker Von Miller.
Eventually, they will.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, the Broncos have every intention to exercise the option. Since they have until May 3 to do it, there’s no reason to do it prematurely.
Because the option makes the 2015 base salary guaranteed for injury, any team that exercises the option before May 3 assumes the risk — small as it may be — that the player will suffer a two-season injury during the offseason program. So why not wait until the last minute to accept that risk?
Speaking of injury, Miller continues to rehab from a torn ACL. If something goes wrong in his rehab on the team’s facility and that something spills beyond 2014 and into 2015, the team would be on the hook for his 2015 salary.
With Miller, there’s yet another level of risk to consider. He’s in Stage Three of the substance-abuse program, subject to multiple unannounced tests per month. One false move, and he’s suspended for a year. While they Broncos wouldn’t have to pay him if he’s suspended, his status surely would impact whether the team wants to make a major financial commitment for 2015, which then becomes the starting point for a long-term contract.
So it’s smart for the Broncos to wait until the last minute. It would be smart for every team to wait until the last minute. By the end of next week, the waiting will be over for everyone.