The “I knew all along a deal would get done” crowd did a victory lap on Friday after the Broncos re-signed linebacker Von Miller. However, a deal that many thought was inevitable didn’t happen without some serious hiccups and/or other bothersome bodily functions.
According to Mike Klis of 9news.com, the Broncos made the offer that Miller accepted on Friday, July 7. The next day, agent Joby Branion submitted a counter proposal with greater guaranteed dollars. Elway declined to move from his bottom-line position.
Then, according to Klis, Branion requested permission to seek a trade. Broncos G.M. John Elway refused.
It’s unclear whether another team would have been willing at this stage of the calendar to give up the package of players and picks to the Broncos and the raw dollars to Miller that would have been necessary to get a deal done. It’s also unclear whether Branion was serious about Miller leaving the Broncos.
After all, if Branion were serious about shopping Miller, the agent could have gotten the word out to other teams that it may have been in their best interests to contact the Broncos if they wanted to try to land Miller. Nothing in the report from Klis suggests that happened, or that any other team contracted the Broncos.
Still, the report reconfirms that things weren’t simple or easy or lacking in acrimony. In the end, the Broncos made their final move seven days before the deadline, and the Broncos refused to budge. It was a risky, all-in play that could have exploded, especially if Miller had been truly willing to leave Denver and start over elsewhere.
He obviously wasn’t interested in leaving, or in doing what he would have had to do to secure his exit: Willingly not play football in 2016.
Regardless, the threat of Miller leaving was enough to get the Broncos to sweeten the pot dramatically from June to July. If they didn’t think he was seriously considering the possibility of sitting out, the team wouldn’t have moved from its supposed bottom-line position of a month ago.