What Would The Denver Broncos Look Like Without Von Miller?

All signs point to Von Miller signing a new mega contract with the Broncos this week, but what if it doesn't happen? What would the 2016 Broncos look like without Von Miller?

As of today, it looks like a deal will get done with cornerstone player Von Miller. The latest contract proposal has been submitted, and all of Broncos Country waits for the white smoke from Miller’s camp. Like many Denver Broncos victories last season, this looms as a situation that is going to go down to the wire.

While a deal looks poised to get done, it does lead the imagination to wonder what a team could look like with the big money Miller is set to be paid. Once he signs on the dotted line, does the mega-deal have the potential to hamstring the ball club going forward?

Less stable franchises may be headed toward that fate; however, I do not see that in the cards for Denver,

Von Miller may not be a franchise-driving quarterback, but he wants to be paid like one. It could also be argued that without the type of postseason he had against the New England Patriots and Carolina Panthers, Denver wouldn’t have had a Super Bowl parade this year. On a defense that boasts future Hall of Famers and Pro Bowlers, Miller is the one that has to be game-planned for. His presence on the field raises the level of all the defenders on it.    

http://www.scout.com/nfl/broncos/story/1681565-5-reasons-you-should-go-p... Barring some sort of unforeseen collapse, all signs point to his new deal early in the week. The Mile High City will rejoice and dance in the streets. Everyone in the organization breathes a sigh of relief and a Championship defense can begin properly with the player that helped get it in the first place.

Brandon Marshall has re-signe and once Miller is inked, the attention will turn toward Emmanuel Sanders. While talks have cooled with Sanders recently, the team seems focused on working out a new deal with him, before he becomes a free agent at the end of 2017. The money being doled out worries some, and I do believe that it worries the Broncos.

Not counting Marshall's new contract, or Miller's, going into next year, the cap number Denver will have available to them will be a little over $51 million, according to Spotrac. But outside of Sanders, is there a must-have free agent on the team that would command a large deal to stay?  As constructed now, it doesn’t look like it.

While every team has key players departing, GM John Elway has done a commendable job keeping the core of the team together. Championship contributors like Jordan Norwood and Sylvester Williams could be grafted in with future studs like Justin Simmons and Jordan Taylor. Each year, teams will have a roughly 25 percent turnaround \with personnel. Denver seems poised to fill those holes with younger players that are teeming with promise at team-friendly numbers.

The drafting of Paxton Lynch figures to be a great move financially speaking. Joe Flacco’s contract in Baltimore will still represent 15 percent of the team’s payroll next year. Aaron Rodgers will carry 14 percent of Green Bay’s money next year. Andrew Luck will have 14 percent, with only 66 players signed for 2017. Lynch accounts for 1.12 percent of the salary pie and Denver holds his future for possibly five seasons.

Here is the unspoken question that is looming over these contract negotiations: What does a team without Von Miller look like? If the unthinkable were to happen and Miller doesn’t re-sign, sitting out the entire year in the process, what does a Super Bowl defense look like?

http://www.scout.com/nfl/broncos/story/1685469-pff-broncos-front-7-ranke... Picture this: The Broncos finish 10-6, while narrowly missing out on their sixth-straight division title. The No Fly Zone defense remains a stout unit and the defense manages to finish in the top-five against both the run and pass. Both young rush linebackers in Shane Ray and Shaquil Barrett perform admirably in Miller’s absence, with Ray notching eight sacks and Barret coming through with 10. 

While the defense continues to be an upper echelon unit, the offense looks nothing like that of 2015. A rejuvenate Mark Sanchez has a Ryan Fitzpatrick-type resurrection and makes his first Pro Bowl as an alternate. C.J. Anderson has his first 1,500-yard season and the passing game is able to thrive in the expected one-on-one matchups because of it. The newly re-signed Emmanuel Sanders and a healthy Demaryius Thomas catch 70-plus balls and gain 1,000 yards.

It sounds like everything falls into place on both sides of the ball. Why only 10-6? Why are the Broncos playing on Wildcard weekend? 

While the defense is stout, they don’t have a player that commands the double and triple teams that Von does from his outside linebacker spot. Picture Tom Brady going off for 350-plus yards in a Sunday afternoon loss at home. Derek Carr has a clean uniform and time to throw in a comeback win on the road that ends up costing the team the division.

Imagine an offense that is forced into shootouts in a loss at Jacksonville in December. The loss is a bad stumble going into the last month of the season. This essentially gives the Oakland Raiders a lead in the division that they don’t relinquish. 

Without Von Miller, there isn’t that one player that can take over a game. Without Von Miller, there isn’t that transcendent talent that makes a good team into a championship team. With Von Miller, however, the Super Bowl window stays open for this season and beyond.

It’s all speculation, but the team would suffer from not having its star player and, therefore, not having the trickle-down effect of greatness that starts with him. The precedent it could set with other players during future negotiations could be harmful as well.

If players are aware that the team can’t make a deal with its franchise player, it would serve as a bad stigma for current Broncos players and possible future ones as well.

July 15th will be an important day for all parties involved. It will, almost certainly, be the next chapter in the history of the Denver Broncos.  That history certainly looks a lot brighter with Von Miller on the field and John Elway in the front office. 

Adam Uribes is an Analyst for Mile High Huddle. You can find him on Twitter @auribes37.

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