With only one week remaining before the window to sign franchise tagged players on long term deals closes, the Chicago Bears, Washington Redskins and Denver Broncos have yet to find the right kind of numerical formula to get a contract signed with Alshon Jeffery, Kirk Cousins and Von Miller.
The Super Bowl champions Broncos are meeting with Miller today (Friday) and while there seems to be progress in regards to more guaranteed money and specifically the third year on the deal, it seems Miller is still unhappy, with not enough money being offered to him. The Broncos previously offered Miller $114.5 million over six seasons, which would make him the highest paid player of this position, but having “only” $39.8 million in guaranteed money is what’s keeping the deal from being signed. It’s reported that Miller is “extremely upset” with Elway and the Broncos over the public nature of the negotiations. Signing this deal, no matter the guaranteed money, would make Von Miller the highest paid defensive player in NFL history. He still hasn’t signed the $14.26 million franchise tender, so holding out after the deadline won’t result in fines.
In Washington, the emergence of Kirk Cousins isn’t resulting in a new contract, and he’s likely to play the 2016 season under the franchise tag, which is $19.9 million. The Redskins are mostly interested in finding out if Cousins’ 2015 season wasn’t a fluke or a one-time thing. They already were disappointed once when Robert Griffin III couldn’t build on his 2012 rookie season. Now he’s playing for the Cleveland Browns, trying to rebuild his career. Cousins doesn’t seem to be in a hurry, knowing that another franchise tag in 2017 will mean $23.94 million going his way.
In Chicago, there doesn’t seem to be too much love between Jeffery and the team, and he’s been missing offseason workouts, irking the Bears. Maybe that’s why they’re building big hopes on Kevin White, to lessen their reliance on Jeffery. Jeffery is looking for about $50 million over four years, maybe more, but the Bears aren’t too happy about committing so much money to wide receivers. He’s hoping for $12 million or more a season, with $20 million and more in guaranteed money.