This is a make-or-break offseason for Denver Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller. Coming off a dominant postseason which earned him a Super Bowl MVP award, Miller can make the argument he’s the best defensive player in football.
With that in mind, shouldn’t Miller be paid like the best defensive player in football? Well, not exactly. You see, because the players’ union had no idea what they were doing when they renegotiated the collective bargaining agreement a handful of times, very little is guaranteed in the NFL, even for the best players in the league.
So what you end up with are GMs like John Elway who are willing to offer these massive deals, but with little in guaranteed money. It’s good for the Broncos because they can save money down the road and also turn the public against players to influence them. Average fans will often ask, “Why would he turn down that kind of money?” But they don’t understand it’s not that simple.
That’s exactly what’s going on with Von Miller right now.
But being the best defender in the league does give Miller some leverage, even with the cards stacked against him. He just needs to stop sending mix signals.
For instance, in a recent appearance on Chelsea Handler’s new Netflix program, Miller seemed to admit he’s not willing to sit out the 2016 season over a contract dispute, which will certainly play into Denver’s hands.
So if the two sides can’t reach a long-term agreement, that would mean the Broncos would franchise tag Miller to lock him down for a season.
But Von doesn’t want to play that game, as he posted the following on Thursday:
If Miller is serious about not accepting the franchise tag, then he shouldn’t have said he’s not willing to sit out the 2016 season. Whether he’s truthful or not, the Broncos have no incentive to negotiate a long-term deal with lots of guaranteed money if they know their star player will be back on the field no matter what.
Miller needs to understand, it’s not smart to threaten to quit your job, unless you’re prepared to do so. His contract situation is the same line of thinking. By saying he won’t accept the franchise tag, Von is basically threatening a holdout. So go all-in, buddy, before Elway calls your bluff.
And if it doesn’t work out, who is the real loser? It’s the Broncos, a team that’s already lost a lot of ground this offseason. They’re the more desperate party and Von Miller needs to take advantage of it.