In response to Denver’s decision to extend an offer to linebacker Von Miller with a deadline and then to rescind the offer after the deadline expired, Miller’s camp has leaked the notion that he possibly will sit out the entire season. There’s a potentially better approach.
Miller can sit out the first 10 weeks of the regular season, showing up the Tuesday after Week 10. He’d make $5.81 million for the final seven weeks, and then he’d be eligible for a 120-percent raise over $14.129 million for 2017, if the Broncos tag him again.
The question becomes whether the Broncos would tag Miller again. If he misses 10 weeks of the season, G.M. John Elway may opt to move on, with a trade of Miller becoming a viable possibility for 2017.
Sitting out the season would ensure that Miller wouldn’t be subject to the exclusive tag in 2017, and that the compensation for signing him to an offer sheet that the Broncos don’t match would be a first-round and third-round draft pick. But if missing 10 weeks is enough to get the Broncos to decide they’ve had enough, the end result would be the same.
If the Broncos decide not to trade him after missing 10 weeks of 2016, Miller could sit out 10 weeks of 2017 as well, making 7/17th of his $16.195 million tender (i.e., $6.98 million) and then forcing the Broncos to give him a 44 percent raise ($23.2 million) or the quarterback franchise tender for 2018.
The end result would be Miller making $12.79 million over two years for 14 weeks of football, and then getting at least $23.2 million for 2018 or a shot at the open market.
If Denver opts for a third straight tag, Miller would make at least $36 million for 30 games over three years. With the Broncos offering $39.5 million for 32 games over two years, Miller would up with nearly the same amount of money per game, and the very real chance that at some point along the way the Broncos will let Miller get what he’s looking for elsewhere.