Turns out an Instagram photo can be a powerful way of delivering a message. The Denver Broncos and Von Miller are negotiating a long term deal, and it seems no one is happy.
The Broncos can’t afford more losses this offseason, especially with possibly their most impactful defensive player. Miller was franchise tagged by the Broncos on March 1, slapping a $14.1 million tag on the 3-4 outside linebacker, the Super Bowl MVP four months ago, a four-time Pro Bowler and two-time first-team All-Pro. After a few months, they offered him the long term deal that’s been talked about: $114.5 million over six years, with $39.8 million in guaranteed money over the first two years, and $19 million more heading into game 3. Miller declined.
The contract would make Miller the highest paid defensive player alongside Ndamukong Suh based on average per year, more than the money Olivier Vernon got when he signed with the New York Giants earlier in the offseason. But Miller wants more, and showed his discontent by cropping John Elway out of an Instagram photo posted by DeMarcus Ware. As of now, the two sides haven’t gotten back to the negotiating table.
Why aren’t the Broncos paying Miller the guaranteed money he wants? Either they don’t trust him to be good beyond the next two seasons (with more exit options further down the line), perhaps for health or maybe off-the-field issues; or it could be that Elway is holding out this kind of money for an elite quarterback, something the Broncos are short of right now. They didn’t give Brock Osweiler what he wanted and lost him to the Houston Texans. Paying Miller the kind of money he wants puts them in a bind going forward, and while history shows that overpaying quarterbacks never results in Super Bowls, and last season showed how a defense can carry a QB to the Super Bowl ring, Elway might consider QB #1 to be the most important position.
Miller might be playing some social media antics, but has said a number of times his reps are making progress with the Broncos, who are busy celebrating their Super Bowl by receiving their rings, and going on a trip to visit the president. Maybe by the time they get back to Denver, and we get closer to the next stage of the preseason preparations, things will be resolved.