— NFL (@NFL) February 9, 2016
Now that the Denver Broncos have held their Super Bowl parade, it is time for the franchise and the front office to come back to reality and make an extremely tough decision. John Elway and the Broncos must now decide whether linebacker Von Miller or quarterback Brock Osweiler will be receiving the team’s lone “franchise tag” before the heat of free agency begins, and whether or not deals can be made to bring both players back in 2016.
There are several factors that are going to weigh into this decision for Broncos:
1. Denver’s Need For A Quarterback
Either he keeps playing…or retires.
— NFL Network (@nflnetwork) February 10, 2016
For those living under a rock: Peyton Manning is likely going to retire. If Manning does decide to hang up the cleats, the Broncos will almost certainly look to make Brock Osweiler their quarterback for the future. The big question though is how will Denver do it? Obviously, every NFL player wants to get the biggest paycheck possible and play in their most desired market. Money may talk, but if you are Brock Osweiler, why would you even want to leave Denver? You are already sitting on a gold mine of receivers in Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders as well as a league-best defense to rely on if you have a bad game. The Broncos may very well end up franchise tagging Von Miller instead of Brock Osweiler, but Osweiler should know that Denver gives him the best chance to succeed as a quarterback in this league, and therefore he should do all that he can in order to stay there, even if it means taking a slight pay cut on his new contract.
2. The Quarterback Theory
— Breaking News Watch (@BreakingNewsWat) January 17, 2016
A good quarterback has never been more valuable in the NFL than it is in today’s day and age. If your team has a good quarterback (Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers, etc) your franchise will always be a contender for a playoff spot or a Super Bowl. Denver obviously does not want to let go of Brock Osweiler, as he has proven that he can, at least, manage the Bronco offense and win them games (went 5-2 after replacing Peyton Manning in week 10). Osweiler may not be a Tom Brady or Aaron Rodgers right now, but he is better than bring in a rookie and allowing to take over the reigns on offense. Denver will likely do all that they can in order to avoid that saga.
3. Miller’s Dominance
— The Boston Globe (@BostonGlobe) February 3, 2016
Brock Osweiler is nowhere near the game-changer as Denver’s Super Bowl MVP linebacker Von Miller, who forced two fumbles in Super Bowl 50 while also recording five sacks and an interception throughout the 2016 Playoffs. No other player in the 2016 free agent class is as much of a game-changing force as Von Miller is. Right now, Brock Osweiler is showing a lot of promise for the future with both his arm and his legs, but he is not yet established as an elite player. Miller, however, is not only established is elite but is arguably the best outside linebacker in the game. The Broncos just won the Super Bowl thanks to the play of Von Miller and the rest of their defense, so one would think that John Elway would do all that he can in order to keep Miller in the Mile High City.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter has already reported that the Broncos are likely going to franchise tag Miller instead of Osweiler. With Miller franchise tagged, the Broncos will be able to hold off on reaching a deal with Miller for the time being and be able to work something out with Osweiler. Von Miller is one of the few players on Denver’s roster that are in the ‘non-touchable’ category (Miller, Aqib Talib, Chris Harris Jr, and Demaryius Thomas), so it is only right that Miller gets the tag. Osweiler knows that Denver gives him the best chance to win. To play in that city, for those fans, with such a solid core of receivers and an elite defense, it would be frivolous for Osweiler to not want to remain in Denver and instead go start over for a lackluster franchise in need of a quarterback like Cleveland.