The Denver Broncos reportedly have offered Von Miller a six-year, $114.5 million contract extension, with $39.8 million guaranteed over the first two years. Miller declined the offer, even though it would have made him the highest-paid defensive player in the league—by a hair.
But there's more to the story. In 2013, offensive tackle Ryan Clady held out of all of Denver's offseason program—using the July 15 deadline as a negotiation tool—as did wide receiver Demaryius Thomas in 2015. Both franchise-tagged players suffered as a result.
That year, Clady injured his foot in Week 2 and was lost for the season. Thomas had something of a down year upon his return from holding out in 2015. In an effort to avoid a similar outcome with Von Miller, the Broncos established their own deadline for consummating a new deal.
That deadline was yesterday—Tuesday, June 7 at 10 p.m., according to 9NEWS' Mike Klis.
Miller declined Denver's offer, which Klis says was one the two sides had a "partial agreement" on—as far as the years and total value thereof. John Elway's threat? If no deal could be reached by the June 7 deadline, the Broncos would withdraw their offer, forcing Miller to play under the one-year franchise tag.
However, from the sounds of it, there are no absolutes in this negotiation.
Absent an agreement, the Broncos said they would withdraw their multiyear contract proposal, leaving Miller to play the 2016 season on his $14.129 million "exclusive" franchise tag. However, a Broncos source said Wednesday that talks have not "broken off.''
From the sounds of it, Elway tried bluffing Miller into signing by this newly devised deadline. And Miller pulled his card.
The two sides still have until July 15 and we know that the total value of Denver's contract offer is where Miller wants it. The guaranteed dollars are what's holding this thing back.
Miller wants more guarantees in the first three years than what Denver is offering. And apparently, sack artist Olivier Vernon's recent deal with the New York Giants is an earmark Miller's camp is eyeing.
Although Vernon's contract with New York pays him an annual average of $17 million, he'll earn $29 million in year one alone. Elway will eventually get there. Alas, it might not be until July 15.
Chad Jensen is the Publisher of Mile High Huddle. You can find him on Twitter @ChadNJensen.
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