Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller insists that he will not play this season for the $14 million franchise tag, calling the tag itself a problem for players that he can help fix.
“No, I’m not gonna play on the franchise tag. It just doesn’t make sense in any way,” Miller said on ESPN.
Miller claims that his issue isn’t about the money. His issue is that the franchise tag is inherently unfair to NFL players because it restricts their ability to find out their true market value.
“I’ve never really played for money,” Miller said. “It’s bigger than that for me. It’s a league-wide problem that I feel like I’m in a situation to help out with.”
The question then becomes, What if Miller and the Broncos can’t work out a deal by Friday, which is the deadline for franchise players to sign a long-term contract? If that deadline passes, and Miller and the Broncos still haven’t agreed to a deal, there aren’t a lot of good options left.
One option would be for Miller to sign the franchise tag, but he says he won’t do that. Another option would be for the Broncos to agree to pay Miller more than the $14 million franchise tag number on a one-year deal this season, but that seems unlikely: Teams believe they negotiated for the right to use the franchise tag, and they don’t want to give that up. And the final option would be for Miller to refuse to play, on the idea that he could make more as a free agent next year.
Miller is strongly suggesting that he could skip the entire 2016 season. That still seems unlikely, but it becomes more likely if he hasn’t signed by Friday.