What’s the “Deal” With Von Miller?
John Elway has been nothing but sensational for the Denver Broncos since he took over as the Broncos GM back in 2011. The results cannot be disputed; five years, five division championships, 5 trips to the divisional round of the playoffs, 2 Super Bowl appearances, and a Super Bowl victory. My opinion of John Elway as a GM cannot be any higher and I think he is far and away the best General Manager in the NFL.
With all of that said, I cannot agree with the stance he is taking with Von Miller. Von Miller is as valuable an asset as any player not named Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers or Ben Roethlisberger. Yes, that means he is a more valuable player than the reigning MVP Cam Newton, just watch the Super Bowl if you would like to know why. In my opinion, the show Von just put on in the 2015 playoffs was second to no other defensive playoff performance in
NFL history. So why in the world are the Broncos lowballing Von Miller in these negotiations? The offer that was reported yesterday of 6 years, $114.5 million with $39.5 million guaranteed is a mere slap in the face to arguably the best defender in Broncos history.
This isn’t the NBA, or the MLB. The thing about NFL deals is the total of the contract is completely meaningless, just take a look at Russell Okung’s deal. It is all about the guaranteed money in this league, and this figure for a player of Von Miller’s stature, it is a ridiculous notion to think that he would even take a second look at this offer. I understand the negotiating tactic that John Elway employs, and usually I love the hard-line stance he takes. However, this is a little bit different. This isn’t Ryan Clady, or Demaryius Thomas, who are great but not top-5 All-Time talents. This isn’t Colin Kaepernick, or Brock Osweiler, where you say take what’s offered or get out. This is the man that was the most repsonsible for bringing a Lombardi Trophy back to Denver. It is very simple, with Von Miller, the Broncos do not win Super Bowl 50.
Von has said all the right things; he wants to be a Bronco for life, that he expects negotiations to be peaceful, and that he expects a deal to be done. The Broncos need to show Von Miller a little bit more respect than this, because now things are getting a bit more contentious, at least according to some:
For the record, I do not think there is any way Von Miller would sit out the season, I do think the deal will get done, and I do not think these negotiations are necessarily ugly–yet. Whether there is real tension at this point or not, they certainly aren’t going as smooth as Von had thought, and he cannot be happy with the latest contract offer from Elway. The Broncos are spinning this as if it would make Von the highest paid non-QB in league history, which is true among the value of the total contract. That is not the part of the deal that Von is opposed to, it is the guaranteed money that is a complete joke. The Broncos have to know that the Super Bowl MVP is not going to sign for a dime less than Olivier Vernon, or Justin Houston, who both got over $52 million in guaranteed money, and as players, aren’t even close to as
dominant as Von Miller. Miller is asking for, and should get closer to the $58 million that Ndamukong Suh received last summer, as he should as his impact in the league has now surpassed what Suh has brought. According to Benjamin Albright, the number that will probably get this done, which would still be a concession on Von’s part would be $55 million.
Whether or not this would get it done, it would have been a far better starting point than the contract the Broncos offered. All the Broncos have done by offering a contract that they know isn’t going to get it done is made the best player mad, and solidifying the fact that Von will not be showing up at mini-camp this week.
To me this is not negotiating in good faith, this is negotiating out of pure stubbornness. Again, I do believe the deal will get done, and I believe the guarantees will be north of $55 million, as they well should be for a player of this stature.
With all due respect to John, he is wrong in this instance. It is very simple what Elway needs to do next. He needs to take off his tough guy hat, and show Von Miller the love he deserves. Show him the money and Von will reward the Broncos with what they deserve, more Super Bowls.