Broncos, Von Miller working to beat clock with new contract

Feb 7, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller (58) against the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50 at Levi
Feb 7, 2016; Santa Clara, CA, USA; Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller (58) against the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50 at Levi /

The Denver Broncos and Von Miller are discussing a long-term contract, and could be working to beat Tuesday’s franchise deadline clock…

It’s March, and that means buzzer beaters are now en vogue. The Broncos and Von Miller could be working on a buzzer beater of their own.

The Broncos want to sign Miller to a long-term deal. Miller wants to sign a long term deal. Both parties would prefer not to have to use the franchise tag.

Deadlines spur action, which means we should see something happen today for Miller and the Broncos, either making him the highest paid rush linebacker in the NFL or perhaps just the latest Bronco to be slapped with the tag.

Regardless of whether or not Miller is tagged by the Broncos, he will be spending the foreseeable future in Denver. They are much closer to a long-term contract than they were with Demaryius Thomas at this point last year, and Thomas was hit with the non-exclusive franchise tag.

The latest from NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport…

“Not close yet” scares me a little bit, but we can rest easy knowing the Broncos aren’t going to let Miller out of house. The possibility exists that if he were to get hit with the non-exclusive franchise tag that he could negotiate a contract with another team in order to drive up his price with the Broncos, so there’s no way John Elway will let that happen.

In all likelihood, you’ll see Miller as the first player hit with the exclusive franchise tag, something that hasn’t been done since 2012.

Miller’s worth it.

The Broncos know his worth, and Miller knows his worth. The Super Bowl MVP has worked his way out of the NFL’s substance abuse program, and has put himself on track since his dreaded 2013 season. Miller’s emergence in this past year’s postseason was merely a microcosm of the trajectory we’ve seen from his rookie year. It was plain to see that Miller would become one of the NFL’s elite defensive players from the moment he stepped on an NFL practice field, but to become as good as he has?

The Super Bowl MVP trophy speaks louder than any words I can say.

Miller’s postseason play in 2016 was other-worldly, an individual defensive performance unlike anything I’ve seen in recent years in the playoffs. He was unblockable, and he made the defining play in the Super Bowl with a strip sack of league MVP Cam Newton that resulted in the game’s first touchdown.

If the Broncos have to tag Miller, it’ll cost them a hair over $14 million this season. That would seem like a lot, but it’ll eventually be a nice little discount rate over what Miller is expected to make annually, which could reach the $20 million mark. As valuable as a quarterback is, having someone who can make life miserable for them like Miller is just as valuable.

And he’s only 26.

I’m going to go out on a limb and say the Broncos and Miller get a long-term deal done today, though I may just be wishing that to happen. It makes sense considering both sides want to get a deal done, and considering what Miller said on Monday about wanting to be a ‘Bronco for life’.

Make it happen, guys.