Complications in contract negotiations between the Denver Broncos and Super Bowl 50 MVP defensive end, Von Miller, have increased day by day over the last several weeks. Last week, Miller turned down a six-year, $114.5 million contract offer from the Broncos and intentionally cropped the franchise’s GM, John Elway, out of his Instagram photo from the team’s celebratory visit to the White House for their Super Bowl 50 Championship. This week, Von Miller is again causing a stir on Instagram with his contract situation, as Miller posted a photo on Thursday with the caption: “I love my Teammates, Coaches, and My Fans but there is No Chance I play the 2016 season under the Franchise tag.”
A photo posted by Von Miller (@vonmiller) on Jun 16, 2016 at 9:02am PDT
Before this week, many NFL and Denver Broncos fans were confused as to why Von Miller decided to turn down the massive $114.5 million offer ($39.8 guaranteed). Now, it has become abundantly clear that Von Miller is unhappy with the way the Broncos have undervalued him when it comes to paying him for his worth as well as the lack of guaranteed money that the franchise has offered him in this new proposed deal. In 2015, no other defensive player in the NFL was as dominant and meant more to their team than Von Miller did to the Denver Broncos. John Elway and company knew that they had something special in Von Miller after his dominant performances against the Pittsburgh Steelers, New England Patriots, and Carolina Panthers in the 2015 postseason, so they decided to place the exclusive franchise tag on him. Now that Miller’s free agency options have been limited to only one team, the Broncos have acted as if they have all the leverage on the situation by trying to significantly underpay the most dominant defensive player in the league. Von Miller knows his worth, but apparently the Broncos do not value him as highly as the New York Giants value Olivier Vernon (five years, $85 million with $52.5 guaranteed) and the Philadelphia Eagles value Fletcher Cox (six years, $102.6 million with $63.3 guaranteed).
Nothing against Olivier Vernon or Fletcher Cox, but neither of those two defensive ends were anywhere near as dominant as Von Miller was for the Broncos in 2015. The Broncos certainly made a significant offer to Von Miller with the $114.5 million, but the $39.8 million in guaranteed money was just a fraction of the guaranteed money that is currently being awarded to Cox and Vernon. The lack of guaranteed money that was offered to Von Miller as part of the $114.5 proposed deal by the Broncos is reportedly the major factor in Miller’s unhappiness, according to ESPN, and for good reason. Players in the NFL all understand their worth, and if Olivier Vernon and Fletcher Cox are making $50 million+ in guaranteed money then shouldn’t Von Miller, a player who holds the title as Super Bowl champion and Super Bowl MVP, be offered more in guaranteed salary?
If Von Miller and the Broncos do not agree to a long-term deal by July 15th, Miller will either be forced to play the 2016 season under the $14 million franchise tag tender, or he can opt to hold out and not play in 2016 and become a free agent following the 2016 season. Miller has already stated that he wants to remain a Bronco for life, but with the way the Broncos are handling this situation, it would be the least bit surprising if Von Miller opts to not play for Denver in 2016 and earn his big pay day with another team in 2017 free agency.