When the Denver Broncos re-signed Super Bowl 50 MVP Von Miller just prior to yesterday's deadline, a wave of relief washed over all of Colorado. According to Mike Klis of 9NEWS, however, the negotiations nearly took a hard left turn.
Klis reported that after Broncos GM John Elway had submitted his final offer to Miller's agent, Joby Branion, a counter-offer was returned by Branion seeking more guaranteed money. Elway, adhering to his principles, refused to offer higher than $70 million guaranteed.
This time, the response by Branion was to ask permission to seek a trade. Again, Elway refused.
http://www.scout.com/nfl/broncos/story/1681565-5-reasons-you-should-go-p...We know how the story plays out from there; a week passed, Miller likely considered all of his options, and the Broncos waited patiently for the phone to ring. It did, and as of yesterday, Miller will return to the Broncos as the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history.
What this report really illustrates is the true brinkmanship that took place during the negotiations. It's unclear whether Branion's trade request was just an attempt to exhaust every last bit of leverage, or a serious option that Miller was ready to explore. While hindsight tells us it's likely the former, we may never know how close a blockbuster trade was to taking place.
Utimately, this tale adds to the legacy of John Elway the businessman. When the NFL Network finally does their sprawling, seven-part "A Football Life" chronicling the legend of John Elway, they'll surely make mention of the way he boldly stood his ground rather than shipping off the best linebacker in Broncos history to the Oakland Raiders (untrue but it would make for great television).
For now, though, we can sit back and enjoy the roster that Elway has put together in 2016. It may have been a closer call than we thought, but the band's officially back together, and that's worth a Mile High Salute.
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Will Keys is an Analyst for Mile High Huddle. You can find him on Twitter @WillKeys6.