If Von Miller and the Denver Broncos don't agree to a multi-year contract by Friday, it's the franchise tag or bust in 2016. According to Miller, however, he wants nothing to do with the dreaded tag designation.
"No, I'm not gonna play on the franchise tag," Miller declared on ESPN. "It just doesn't make sense in any way."
Keep in mind that the exclusive-rights franchise tag pays about $14 million to linebackers, and is one of the main stipulations of the newest collective bargaining agreement that was negotiated by the NFL Players Association in 2011. It's not exactly a corporate stranglehold.
http://www.scout.com/nfl/broncos/story/1681565-5-reasons-you-should-go-p...What Miller isn't acknowledging is that the franchise tag is one of the only tools front offices have to keep their rosters together in the modern NFL. Since the free agency era began in 1992, players have possessed almost all of the leverage in salary negotiations. If a team isn't able to extend a player while they're under contract, the franchise tag is the only barrier between the player and the open market consisting of the 31 remaining clubs.
Also, it's not as if front offices can slap the tag on anyone at anytime; each team gets to use it only once per year. After a team has spent four or five years scouting, drafting and developing a player, it seems reasonable that they should have an advantage over the rest of the league in trying to sign that player to his next contract.
Nevertheless, the reigning Super Bowl MVP doubled down on his crusade against the tag.
"I've never really played for money," Miller went on to say. "It's bigger than that for me. It's a league-wide problem that I feel I'm in a situation to help out with."
If Miller is really as interested in doing away with the franchise tag as he says he is, he can plead his case with the NFL owners in 2021, when the current CBA expires. Until then, if he doesn't want to sign the tag and play for the $14 million it would pay him in 2016, he can feel free to sign what will likely be the richest non-quarterback deal in NFL history and simply avoid it altogether.
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Will Keys is an Analyst for Mile High Huddle. You can find him on Twitter @WillKeys6.