According to sources close to the ongoing negotiations between the Denver Broncos and Super Bowl MVP Von Miller, the team is prepared to use the franchise tag to keep the star pass rusher in town for at least another season.
Miller, who becomes an un-restricted free agent on March 9, has become one of the NFL’s most dominant defensive forces since being drafted by the Broncos with the second overall pick in the 2011 NFL draft. His 12 sacks per season average puts Miller on pace with Hall of Fame caliber pass rushers like Kevin Green, Michael Strahan, and teammate DeMarcus Ware. In order to keep that kind of talent around, the Broncos are going to have to pony up.
Earlier in the week, there had been indications that the Broncos were close to securing a long-term deal “mega” deal to keep Miller in Denver for the majority of the next decade. However, the clock is ticking.
Teams have until 2 p.m. on Tuesday to franchise tag players. If the Broncos were to place the tag on Miller, they would have to pay him $14.129 million for his services this season, unless they were able to come to a long term agreement before the mid-July franchise tender deadline. That dollar figure is significantly lower than the upwards of $20 million per year Miller is expected to be worth on the open market.
Broncos General Manager John Elway met with Miller’s representatives this week at the NFL combine in Indianapolis. According to sources, talks between the two sides have been productive. However, with so little time to work out the details of a deal, and 15 other unrestricted free agents on Denver’s roster, the Broncos are fully prepared to place the tag on Miller in order to address other needs including defensive end Malik Jackson and quarterback Brock Osweiler.
Earlier this week, Elway spoke with the media about the negotiating process with Miller. “We’re in discussions with Von,” Elway said. “We’ve exchanged some offers and will continue to meet with his representatives.”
The Broncos are among the most cash-strapped teams in the NFL, and if the Broncos were to use their lone franchise tag to keep Miller, sources say it would be extremely unlikely they would be able to retain both Osweiler and Jackson.
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