Von Miller may have joined the Denver Broncos on the team flight to the nation’s capital, but the reigning Super Bowl MVP still has some financial matters to sort through with the front office before he rejoins the Broncos on the field.
According to ESPN’s Adam Schefter, Miller’s negotiating party recently rejected an offer from Denver worth $19.083 million per year over six seasons, with $39.8 million in guaranteed money. The two sides were reportedly $20 million apart in negotiations in April. To nobody’s surprise, the gap has been a tough one to bridge; if Schefter’s report proved anything, it was that the Broncos, not Miller, seem to be the party moving their price. However, a report published Wednesday afternoon by USA Today’s Mike Klis states that after Miller’s party rejected the offer, the Broncos set a deadline of 10 p.m. Tuesday night for long-term deal negotiations. Klis cites an anonymous source that contradicts the hard deadline talk, stating the talks are still open and that the team has not yet opted to place the franchise tag on Miller.
Broncos proposed 6-yr, $114.5M deal to Von Miller that includes $39.8M gtd in first 2 years, per sources close to Denver. No deal in sight.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) June 8, 2016
Schefter later tweeted the likelihood of the two sides coming to an agreement prior to the July 15 deadline seemed slim, but not impossible.
Miller traveled with the Broncos to visit the White House Monday, taking part in the celebration before speaking with reporters about the status of his contract talks. According to the Denver Post, Miller told press members he felt positive about the process at the time, but did not go into detail.
“We’ve made real progress over the last couple of days,” Miller told reporters Monday in Washington. “I’m very optimistic about the whole thing. Yeah, I remain optimistic about everything.”
In April, Yahoo Sports reported that Miller and his agent, Joby Branion, were looking for a five-year contract in the neighborhood of $22 million per season — such a deal would make Miller, who has compiled 60 sacks in five years, the highest paid defensive player in the NFL. At the time of the Yahoo report, the Broncos reportedly sought a deal closer to $18 million per year. Miami Dolphins defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh currently sets the league defensive standard with a contract worth $19 million per year, which is what the Broncos are now offering Miller. Suh’s deal runs six years and is ultimately worth a maximum of $114.375 million, while the offer Denver made Miller would top that at $114.5 million.
Denver has to sign Miller to a contract by July 15 or place the team’s exclusive franchise tag on the 27-year old outside linebacker, a move that would cost the team $14.129 million in 2016 and keep Miller from negotiating with other NFL teams. The Broncos could theoretically retain Miller under the franchise tag for the next two years for roughly $32 million, though both sides have spoken publicly about their intent to sign a long-term deal. It was reported by Yahoo that a discount deal for defensive end Derek Wolfe led Denver to believe it would be able to get similar hometown discounts in its talks with Miller — Wolfe signed a four-year deal worth $36.7 million, while Malik Jackson, a former Bronco defensive tackle, penned a five-year, $85.5 million deal with the Jacksonville Jaguars via free agency.