Von Miller, Broncos need to truly negotiate

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Much has been written and reported — and behind the scenes, said and alleged — over the past week about the Von Miller contract situation in Denver. Here’s the first thing we’ll say about it this week: A deal remains within reach, if the two sides commit to working one out.

Based on multiple conversations with multiple sources with knowledge of the situation, it’s clear that the two sides have yet to engage in true negotiations, with exchanges of positions augmented by meaningful debates and sustained dialogue. The fact that the Broncos attached deadlines to multiple offers made to Miller and then leaked the terms of their most recent offer to the media has genuinely inflamed the situation. Other factors, which currently can’t be disclosed due to the sensitivity of the situation, also have contributed to a real sense of tension between the two sides that, while fixable through an effort to bridge what really isn’t a significant gap at this point, could explode absent a commitment to work things out.

It’s the same thing we’ve said in the not-so-distant past about the Jets and quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. Get in a room, lock the door from the outside, and emerge once a deal is done. Unlike Fitzpatrick, a truly unrestricted free agent who has little or no interest elsewhere in his services as a starter, Miller has other viable alternatives, despite being limited by the exclusive franchise tag.

While it arguably makes more sense to show up on the Tuesday after Week 10, make roughly $5.8 million, and do the franchise-tag dance again in 2017, Miller can avoid the exclusive tag in 2017 only by sitting out the full year. With plenty of teams likely interested in giving up a first- and third-round pick plus a market-level contract nine months from now if Miller sits out the full season and triggers, under the rules of the labor deal, an easier path out of Denver, it’s currently believed he’d get much more from another team next year than the Broncos are offering this year.

Along the way, Miller wouldn’t be sitting around doing nothing. Miller could make plenty of money going to work for a TV network (either as a pro or college football analyst), replacing a chunk of the lost income from not playing football in 2016. He could also have other opportunities to parlay his fame as the Super Bowl 50 MVP (and notoriety as a guy who is opting not to play in 2016) into revenue streams.

Many will scoff at the possibility of Miller sitting out, because very few NFL players ever do it. But just as strongly as I currently believe a deal can be done if the two sides commit to negotiation, I believe that if they don’t Miller will eventually decide that he wants out of Denver, activating the easiest and clearest path out by not playing at all in the coming season.

Miller’s not yet at that point. But the two sides aren’t where they need to be, either, when it comes to trying to work things out. If they fail to work things out by July 15, and if the Broncos decline to give Miller a one-year deal with a commitment not to tag him again in 2017, the chances of Miller not playing are much stronger than most currently assume them to be.

52 responses to “Von Miller, Broncos need to truly negotiate

  1. No, they don’t!

    Miller needs to understand that he is not indispensable.

    Let him sit out.

    Life will go on.

  2. Every year we hear of contract difficulties between some player and his team.
    Every year they work it out before the player loses a game check or the team misses that player.
    SSDD

  3. I am not so sure teams will give up first and third round picks just for the privilege of crippling their salary cap for the next decade, especially after sitting out a year. History has shown sitting out a year in your prime is not kind to their future production. Look at Sean Gilbert, he was a shell of his former self, only played 3 seasons after sitting out. He got his money though.

  4. So you’re saying Miller, Fitz and their teams haven’t been negotiating up till now? Seems like an overly simple reaction / suggestion to readers comments every time you suggest an NFL or college player should with hold services for the entire season or first 10 games of the coming season.

  5. The Broncos should go for the ‘twofer’ situation – bring in BOTH Miller AND his buddy, Johnny Manziel. By having Manziel join the team Denver will (1) go a long way towards satisfying/respecting Von who has repeatedly said that he wants Manziel to be his teammate and (2) they will have their QB of the future (or at least better than what they have now).

    “Along the way, Miller wouldn’t be sitting around doing nothing.”

    No, he’ll be partying with Manziel which is why it’s worthwhile for Elway to ink both so that he can more effectively keep tabs on ’em.

  6. From the sounds of it, Von Miller must think he was entirely responsible for the defense being so good last year. Never mind the other REALLY good players on that side of the ball. My guess is he wouldn’t be happy unless they gave him a QB-type deal.

  7. I hate when fans blabber about how their teams should trade for so & so player. BUT, the Titans DO have extra picks next year & oodles of cap room. Hmmm.

  8. From the sounds of it, Von Miller must think he was entirely responsible for the defense being so good last year. Never mind the other REALLY good players on that side of the ball. My guess is he wouldn’t be happy unless they gave him a QB-type deal.

    ———————————-

    Well look at what those crap bag QBs did for them last year compared to him. And what was Manning being paid? And how much did Osweiler get paid? He’s a game changer on the defense.

  9. The Broncos simply have to decide how strong of a Super Bowl contender they want to be. The difference with Miller vs. without Miller is substantial.

    Side note regarding the first post: Seeing “Johnny Manziel” and “quarterback of the future” used in context with each other might be the funniest thing I’ll see all week.

  10. Their D is already missing key players, this will put them in a completely different level if they lose Miller. They will be lucky to go 8-8. They have no QB.

  11. No they don’t.
    1. Von Miller is asking for an unreasonable amount
    2. Elway has the leverage
    3. Elway made a fair offer, Miller rejected it.

    What is left to negotiate?

    Does Negotiate mean that you should have to over pay or enter into a deal that makes no sense?
    Let Von Miller “Negotiate”

  12. The Broncos would be fools to apply the exclusive Tag on Von Miller in 2017 if he sits out. He would be 28, and they would get two first round picks for him. Elway is not a fool.
    How productive will he be after age 28? Will he still be elite? Will he begin to slow down and just be very good. Is it worth paying 20MM for very good, as opposed to having two first round picks?

  13. >> A non-exclusive franchise player may negotiate with other NFL teams, but if the player signs an offer sheet from another team, the original team has a right to match the terms of that offer, or if it does not match the offer and thus loses the player, is entitled to receive two first-round draft picks as compensation.

    Does this make sense?
    1 – give up 2 #1 picks
    2 – over pay a guy who is 28
    3 – isn’t a QB

    Possibly a team run by morons (there may be one or two) but more than likely no one will do that.

  14. This whole “saga” feels like PFT and other outlets just needing content in the dog days of June. Von and Elway will find a workable deal on July 15th just like those that are franchise tagged almost always due.

  15. The Broncos don’t have to negotiate because the Players Association agreed to a ridiculous franchise tag proviso. As a fan I like salary caps, franchise tags, and transitional tags because it helps keep each team competitive but I’ll never understand how this monopoly is ignored year after year.

  16. Oliver Vernon currently has more guaranteed money on his contract then Von Miller does. And that’s fair to you? Hell no.

    The Broncos have given him nothing more than a 2 year deal for 38.5 million. Forget the funny money at the end of the contact his agent isn’t that stupid people.

  17. sc5000 says:
    Jun 13, 2016 10:50 AM
    Oliver Vernon currently has more guaranteed money on his contract then Von Miller does. And that’s fair to you? Hell no.

    The Broncos have given him nothing more than a 2 year deal for 38.5 million. Forget the funny money at the end of the contact his agent isn’t that stupid people.

    —————
    So because the GM of a team is stupid enough to overpay for a player the Broncos should do so as well?

    What happens of the Broncos pay Miller what he wants and he gets injured? Elway is being smart here. He realizes that to have a competitive team you must have depth.

  18. IF Denver is saying that they don’t need him because they already won the Super-bowl it would hurt their future chances at signing another big time free agent without breaking the bank… Take care of your MVP’s team if you dont it turns into a cancer…

  19. “With plenty of teams likely interested in giving up a first- and third-round pick plus a market-level contract nine months from now if Miller sits out the full season and triggers”

    Sure. Plenty of teams want to pay full price and give up 1st and 3rd round picks to a 28 year old player who already has had a torn ACL.

    Von Miller is a talented player, one of the most valuable players in the NFL right now. His best course of action to maximize career earnings is not to sit out a whole season. If he sits out his age 27 season, he’ll never get back the wages he could have been paid while still at his (still healthy) peak. Coming back from a full year off is difficult, especially when a player is approaching 30. Miller will never make up the $15-$20 million he can be paid in 2016 if he sits out 2016 instead.

  20. Elway is letting this SB win go to his head. No one is going to fault elway for not overpaying for Brock but he’s an idiot if he lets his top player walk. Sometimes teams have to overpay to sign their player they want and the Front office needs to realize they can’t win every negotiation…esp not for talented players like Von who won them the SB. You have to make exceptions for the great ones so you don’t lose the locker room as a cheap penny pinching GM who is not going to reward their best players. Either pay him or let him go to a team that will pay him what he wants. Make no mistake…there would be no super bowl without Von Miller….at least give him the courtesy and respect that franchise player deserves…not a BS take it or leave it deadline offer like elway is doing

  21. Ever increasing NFL revenues from TV, seats and merchandise will soon top out. Player demands for more and more money will not end. These two eventualities won’t co-exist. With the U.S. on the verge of recession or worse, players will strike, owners will lock out until reasonable, common sense by the Players Union prevails. The U.S. tax payer will not bail-out the NFL like they did with GM’s $60,000,000,000 as these bail-outs don’t work long term anyway. We’re headed for NFL Armegeddon. Miller..get your ass out to practice and be grateful for your health and financial well-being. Pathetic.

  22. Sorry nhpats but this thing called the market doesn’t take into effect whether the Vernon deal was a good one or not. Miller is infinitely better than Vernon and his agent is gonna see to it that someone pays his client what he’s worth whether it’s in Denver or elsewhere.

  23. sc5000 says:
    Jun 13, 2016 12:01 PM
    Sorry nhpats but this thing called the market doesn’t take into effect whether the Vernon deal was a good one or not. Miller is infinitely better than Vernon and his agent is gonna see to it that someone pays his client what he’s worth whether it’s in Denver or elsewhere.

    —————

    There will always be some desperate or foolish team willing to overpay for players. A good competitive team will forego this, keep the big picture in mind and allow the player to walk. This is exactly what Elway did with Ossweiller and what he will do with Miller or anyone else if need be. If Miller wants to be the highest paid defensive player in the league, it will not be in Denver. He can go and cripple some other team.

  24. All this bla bla bla means nothing until July 15th. That’s when all these huge deals get done, and no amount of sports writing hacks, attempting to manufacture an article that’ll sell, will change that. Relax folks, there’s nothing to see here. Move along….

  25. savethebs says:
    Jun 13, 2016 9:08 AM
    From the sounds of it, Von Miller must think he was entirely responsible for the defense being so good last year. Never mind the other REALLY good players on that side of the ball. My guess is he wouldn’t be happy unless they gave him a QB-type deal.

    ———————————-

    Well look at what those crap bag QBs did for them last year compared to him. And what was Manning being paid? And how much did Osweiler get paid? He’s a game changer on the defense.

    ————————-

    Gronk is a game changer on Patriots offense but he is making a fraction of Brady’s salary. Why? Because salaries are market based. Tight end salaries are lower and QB salaries are higher. So although Gronk has a bigger impact on the offense than Brady his salary does not reflect that.

  26. As great as he is, Elway is not going to bankrupt the Broncos for him. But Jesus John, quit dancing around the guaranteed money. You know what the going rate is!

  27. How much longer is De Smith’s term has head of the NFLPA? Maybe the author of this article can replace him, and himself can be replaced with somebody who writes dispassionate football analysis.

  28. Joey Galloway sat out the first nine weeks while with the Seahawks during his contract dispute.

    The team was the winner: they traded Galloway to Dallas for two first-rounders (used on Shaun Alexander and Koren Robinson).

    Galloway was briefly paid like the second-highest among receivers, but bounced around the league after that.

    Good luck, Miller.

  29. Elway is a Jerk. Von Miller single-handedly won the AFC Championship and the SB for the Broncos by harassing Brady and Newton. He should get more than Suh and Watt.

  30. Find a willing trade partner and then sign him to the crazy contract he wants and ship him to another team. You cant let yourself get into salary cap hell like my Raiders were for so long. He is a phenomenal player but you just cant do it. We will have the same problem with Mack in a few years….hate this part of the game.

  31. The Broncos already have offered to make him the highest paid defender. So why does he have to leave? Just admit you don’t understand the metrics.

  32. Suh and Olivier have more guaranteed money so stop the “highest paid defender” nonsense… As a Raider fan, I hope he does sit a year out, not only to hurt the Donks, but to teach horseface a lesson.

  33. Pay the Man enough said… The Broncos will be ruined in future Free Agency if the fumble this deal with Von… Moves like this is why teams will pay top dollar to land average talent… Pay the ones who make the team do what it do.. Believe other prospective FA are watching how you treat your best assets… Indeed…

  34. Only in the NFL where the salary cap is one of the stars, is there even a question about teams giving up a 1st and 3rd and paying Miller. Can you imagine this being a question in the NBA or MLB?????? Every single team in those sports would be in a brawl to win that opportunity.

  35. I have said it once and I will again. It is not the broncos fault that teams over paid for Vernon, Suh, and Houston. I would not pay it. Let some other stupid team pay a guy who was once one puff away from being out of the league and a player that has had a torn ACL. The broncos can walk away with a first and a third round draft pick. I would be more than happy with that. Von Miller is now all about himself. He is a walking stereo type for a guy who is destined to get “paid” and then never do s*&^ again.

  36. He could become the spokesman for GasX or Febreeze or both. Maybe he could back an underwear smell proof pad start up.

    Yeah, I may be immature, but fart fines from meetings still make me laugh. You have to be pretty nasty to get fined by your employer and on DWTS for farting.

  37. It seemed like it just made too much sense for both sides for them not to be able to find a middle ground right up until the team started ‘negotiating’ through the press. Why a team ever thinks that’s a good idea is beyond me. Once it reaches that point all bets are off. A GM that was a superstar himself should know trying to publicly muscle a guy with the type of competitive fire that makes him one of the best is probably not a good idea.

  38. “The team was the winner: they traded Galloway to Dallas for two first-rounders (used on Shaun Alexander and Koren Robinson).”

    WOW, Dallas gave up 2 First Rounders for a WR like Joey Galloway?

    Jerry’s long history of football buffoonery

  39. dal1as says:
    Jun 13, 2016 3:08 PM
    I have said it once and I will again. It is not the broncos fault that teams over paid for Vernon, Suh, and Houston. I would not pay it. Let some other stupid team pay a guy who was once one puff away from being out of the league and a player that has had a torn ACL.

    ———————————————

    But the Broncos aren’t letting another team pay him. They’re using the franchise tag to try to force him into a deal that’s below his current value. I think Von Miller’s response is reasonable.

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