Denver, CO- The Denver Broncos have placed their exclusive rights franchise tag on linebacker Von Miller, guaranteeing the star pass-rusher and Super Bowl MVP will stay in the Mile High City for at least one more season. The tag keeps Miller off the free agent market this offseason, and gives the Broncos the time they need to work out a long-term deal with his representatives.
Miller, 26, 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. In just five years, he has already accumulated 60 career sacks, a number that would put him on par to finish his career in the top three all-time in that category.
During the Broncos recent postseason run, Miller became a force of nature. Between the AFC Championship and the Super Bowl, Miller recorded five sacks, two forced fumbles, and an interception.
The exclusive rights franchise tag, which guarantees Miller will only be able to play in Denver this season, has not been used on an NFL player since the New Orleans Saints used it to retain quarterback Drew Brees prior to the 2012 season. If he were to play under it this season, Miller would make just north of $14 million per year. However, both the Broncos and Miller’s representatives hope that does not happen.
According to sources, the Broncos fully intend to reach a long-term agreement with Miller and had been close to doing so at several points during the last few days. Yet, as time continued to pass without an agreement the organization decided that placing the franchise tag on Miller was the right decision at the present time.
The franchise tag allows the Broncos to put Miller’s ongoing negotiations on hold while they focus on their 15 other unrestricted free agents. The two sides have until July 15 to work out a long-term deal and sources say the Broncos will likely not approach the negotiating table again until after the NFL Draft in late April.
Broncos General Manager John Elway is accustomed to this process. Since joining the Broncos front office in 2011, Elway has used the franchise tag three times. Each time, he’s been able to work out a long-term deal prior to the mid-July tender deadline. This should be no different.
Last night in an interview on the NFL Network, Miller said he was not bothered by the prospects of being slapped with a franchise tag. “I’ve never been franchised before. So, I can’t really say, ‘Hey, I don’t want to be franchised,” Miller said. “I can tell you what. I want to be with the Denver Broncos. I want to be with Derek Wolfe, Chris Harris, DT (Demaryius Thomas), I want to be with those guys my whole career. So, whatever it takes to get that done, I’m down for.”
After placing the tag, Elway shared his thoughts about his decision and the ongoing negotiations. "Designating Von as our franchise player gives us the time to continue working towards a long-term agreement," Elway said. "We've had productive talks with Von's representatives and will continue those discussions with the goal of making sure Von remains a Bronco well into the future."
To get instant Broncos notifications, download the NEW Scout mobile app for iOS HERE!
Be sure to check out the ever-growing benefit package of being a Mile High Huddle Insider! Check it out HERE.