For Von Miller, a one-year alternative to franchise tag seems unlikely

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When Broncos linebacker Von Miller recently declared there’s “no chance” he’ll play under the franchise tag in 2016, many interpreted his message as being that, if he doesn’t sign a long-term deal before the July 15 deadline, he won’t play at all this year. But there’s an alternative; after July 15, Miller could sign a one-year contract with the Broncos containing terms other than the basic nuts and bolts of the franchise tag.

For example, the Broncos could add a term preventing them from using the franchise tag on Miller again in 2017. Alternatively (or additionally), the Broncos could offer Miler more than $14.129 million for one season.

The latter is unlikely given the team’s cap situation. A long-term deal would inevitably result in a reduction in his current cap charge of $14.129 million for 2016. An increase for 2016 would bump the cap number up accordingly.

Would a promise not to use the tag in 2017 get Miller’s attention? Perhaps. The question then would become whether he’s willing to assume the risk of injury and ineffectiveness in 2016 for $14.129 million and a clear shot at the open market in March. At that point, the other alternative would be to pass on the $14.129 million, sit out the season, become a non-exclusive franchise player (by rule) in 2017, and have the compensation for signing him away drop (by rule) to a first-round and third-round pick.

There’s an unknown in this equation that, if we’re willing to not be naive, isn’t really an unknown. Despite the tampering rules, there are ways to find out whether and to what extent other teams would be willing to give up the picks and a gigantic pile of money in 2017, if Miller chooses to skip 2016 and grease the skids for ticket out of Denver. Surely, Miller’s agents have an idea as to who would be at the table and what they would be dropping on it if Miller chooses not to play at all this season.

Before those questions become directly relevant, July 15 must come and go without the Broncos and Miller working out a long-term contract. A multi-year agreement remains the more likely outcome, if the two sides can find a way to genuinely negotiate regarding the structure of a six-year, $114.5 million contract. But if stubbornness prevails on either or both side of the table for 26 more days, an outcome that most regard as impossible immediately becomes remarkably plausible.

25 responses to “For Von Miller, a one-year alternative to franchise tag seems unlikely

  1. This guy had more PED in him than most at one point, I’d be leery of paying him as well.

  2. If it passes July 15th, he should try to work out a deal below the franchise tag dollars for freedom after the season.
    Team gets cap relief, he gets to hit the market in 2017 as a SB MVP, a hugely productive player, & only 28 yeas old. All he would have to do is make it out of 2016 without any major health/ discipline issues & he would parlay that into the new largest non-QB contract in the NFL.

  3. crazy, unasked for “advice” that people give Von Miller continues.

    It’s all a bluffing game now between him and the Broncos, and the Broncos are in a much stronger position.

    Sitting out 2016 would satisfy the egos of the “advisers” who say Miller should do that but it’s very bad advice.

    Any deal Miller gets after sitting out 2016 would need to have more than $15 million more in guaranteed money than the $120 million deal the Broncos just offered him. Otherwise, Miller would be worse off.

    Teams that have to give two high draft picks (1st and 3rd) in compensation never break the bank in contract offers because the draft picks themselves are part of the acquirer’s cost. That’s why unrestricted free agents always get better deals than restricted free agents. Simple logic.

  4. I don’t see Miller signing with the Broncos. The Broncos area good team that can attract free agents who are interested in getting to the super bowl. Remember when Peyton chose Denver over other teams? Plus good teams will unload guys that want to stir it up (Carolina-Josh Norman). Guys that think they are bigger than the team, usually don’t last long with a GM that knows what he’s doing (Bill Belichick-Terry Glenn). Plus Denver has drafted well and has other good players waiting in the wings (Shane Ray). I don’t think Denver will miss Miller as much as Miller thinks they will.

  5. Maybe the NFLPA should remind Miller that the team is doing what the NFLPA agreed to in the CBA. I don’t fault Miller for trying to maximize his earnings, but the Union ratified that deal and the Broncos are following its terms. Holding out over the franchise tag is violating the spirit of the deal. Poor Von Miller, only making $14mill on a one year deal.

  6. @tonesbones.

    Correct. There is no I in team.

    Miller seems to be all about ME. Don’t forget that Denver’s WHOLE D played a whale of a game in the SB, and he is part of a system, that allows him to attack the way he does.
    Not unlike running behind the Dallas Oline revived DMac’s career last year, Miller plays on a D that allows him to tee off.
    Not all teams have that depth or latitude to scheme that way.
    Plus, he’s another failed PED test away from being suspended for a season, so that risk looms large in a GM’s mind as he’s already been caught before so he’s tried and convicted cheater.
    Miller*

  7. Yesterday I listened to Moving the Chains on Sirius XM, and a very good point was made: Von already has one substance abuse tag on him. If Elway caves, and gives him the bazillion dollars guaranteed money he wants, and Von slips up (again) he gets suspended by the NFL, but the Broncos will still have to pay that bazillion dollars. My guess is that Denver will increase the guaranteed money a little bit, but that the fine print in this contract will not leave them holding an empty bag. Pay Von, but make dang sure that any suspensions void his salary for the duration of the suspended time period. Frankly July 15th is still light years away when it comes to contract negotiations.

  8. Players have a very short career, teams have no loyalty to players ,contracts are ignored and players asked to take pay cuts all the time. The only leverage a player has is the upfront cash. Miller is right to try and get as much as he can. If he hits the open market he will be $50 mil guaranteed rage just like all the other elite pass rushers .

  9. The Broncos win either way, because if they let Von sit out, tag him again, and take the first and third round picks as compensation, you send John Elway into the 2017 offseason with a boatload of cap space, and what could be seven picks in the top 100 in the draft (Broncos already likely to get compensatory thirds for Osweiler and Malik Jackson).

  10. As a long time Broncos fan, I am still basking in the afterglow of a Super Bowl victory. I also understand that while I would love to see the team repeat, the odds are against it, just because of the fact we lost both QB’s and had so many free agent contracts come due. But all teams are built differently anyway, as we clearly demonstrated from the changes that were made after the SB 48 debacle against Seattle. This team is undergoing the transition of becoming Paxton Lynch’s team, it’s just a matter of how long that process takes. My guess is, this season will be very much like 2006, where Jake Plummer started the season, and rookie Jay Cutler took over in week 12. Sanchez is on a one year deal anyway, and there is no reason to bring him back in 2017, so despite what the Broncos say, unless Trevor Siemian is a complete revelation, Paxton will be starting by the end of this season.

  11. Looks like the Broncos are heading into irrelevancy for the next couple of years. Elway’s big ego will not allow him to back down and accept Von’s demands. Just like his big ego allowed Osweiler to walk in free agency. Elway’s big ego will ultimately sink the Broncos.

  12. No they don’t. Contracts contain a clause that guarantees are voided if a player does certain things, such as drug use.

    >>deepwater805 says:
    Jun 19, 2016 12:05 PM
    Yesterday I listened to Moving the Chains on Sirius XM, and a very good point was made: Von already has one substance abuse tag on him. If Elway caves, and gives him the bazillion dollars guaranteed money he wants, and Von slips up (again) he gets suspended by the NFL, but the Broncos will still have to pay that bazillion dollars.

  13. Just about every move Elway has made has been a great move and the Broncos have been winning, including a super bowl. Either he has incredible luck or he knows what the heck he’s doing. I’m saying he knows what he’s doing.

  14. patsfan4lifesbchamps says:
    Jun 19, 2016 3:19 PM

    Looks like the Broncos are heading into irrelevancy for the next couple of years. Elway’s big ego will not allow him to back down and accept Von’s demands. Just like his big ego allowed Osweiler to walk in free agency. Elway’s big ego will ultimately sink the Broncos.
    ——————————————–
    Go ahead and believe what you like, but the Broncos are going to be right there in the AFC West race, and we’re still going to beat your Pats, again, when they come to the Mile High. You better worry about whether or not Tommy Boy can beat his suspension rap.

  15. The reality is, the Broncos had some major flaws last season that they were able to overcome to win the Super Bowl. The offensive line was horrendous until approx. week 13 when it finally started to play better. That in turn made the running game better as well, but both of those areas will be much improved overall this season. Also, our safety play/depth was bad when TJ Ward, Darrian Stewart and David Bruton were all injured at the same time (that was how the Oakland Raiders beat Denver last yr). The safety depth will be so much better this season with Shiloh Keo, a special teams ace that made some clutch plays for the Broncos as he became acclimated, and rookies Justin Simmons and Will Parks. I’m telling you all already, the Broncos stole Will Parks in rd 6. Yet another late round Elway gem.

  16. Dwight Freeney? They didn’t sign him when Peyton was there, they sure won’t now. Denver don’t have anywhere for Freeney. Miller will sign. Sit and lose 14m? Not likely. They’ll find a middle ground.

  17. And dude, the reason the Raiders won was all on Schofield.let’s not forget, it was 15-12. Hardly a poor defensive performance.

  18. Last September the league and union agreed to a revised policy that allowed players in Stage 3 who have had no failed tests in 24 months to be eligible for discharge.

    Should he test positive again, Miller will re-enter Stage 1 of the program and face additional tests but no suspension.

  19. People posting that the football player who stands at 250 lbs and runs a 4-4 is using ped’s like its something other than a forgone conclusion and not common practice/ job requirement amuses me to no end. What’s the next news flash, politicians lie?

  20. Von Miller tested out of the drug program. He is not subject to a one year suspension. Some of need to do some research and get a sniff of reality. The only thing holding up the deal is Elways stupidity.

  21. I hope Miller keeps his words and will sit out of Elway doesn’t want to pay him. The Broncos D are no champions without Miller. Elway needs a lesson in humility and gratitude. I can understand why Miller feels unappreciated.

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