Miller and the Broncos have been involved in somewhat of a contentious contract dispute since March 1, when Denver placed the exclusive rights $14.26 million franchise tag on their Super Bowl 50 MVP. More than three months have passed, and that franchise tag is still the only connective tissue that ties Miller to Denver.
http://www.scout.com/nfl/broncos/story/1681565-5-reasons-you-should-go-p...If Miller and the Broncos can't agree on a new deal to keep him in Denver by July 15, Miller's only two options would be to play under the franchise tag and repeat the whole process next offseason, or to start sitting out games. Miller has publicly stated that he will not play under the tag, which makes the impending deadline all the more crucial.
Communication has been spotty between Miller and the Broncos since the pass rusher declined a six-year, 114.5 million deal in early June. But according to Adam Caplan of ESPN, the two sides finally had gotten in touch over the weekend.
Just the fact that Miller and the front office have restarted a dialogue has to be encouraging for the Broncos. Fans will recall that the two biggest names to spurn the Broncos in recent history, Jay Cutler and Brock Osweiler, cut off all communications with the team before heading elsewhere.
The situation here is much different. There's no reason for Miller not to want to play four more years in Denver, and there's no reason for GM John Elway not to shell out a massive contract to arguably the best defensive player in football. The only thing keeping the two sides apart is the amount of guaranteed money in the proposed deal.
The bottom line is that this deadline--rather than the Broncos' self-imposed June 7 deadline--is absolutely imperative. The Broncos need Miller in the starting lineup not just to have a chance to defend their Super Bowl title, but even just to contend in the vastly improved AFC West.
That's why the next 10 days may ultimately decide the Broncos fate in 2016.
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Will Keys is an Analyst for Mile High Huddle. You can find him on Twitter @WillKeys6.