This Von Miller Deal Must Get Done
With Fletcher Cox getting his big time payday, it is time for John Elway to hand Von Miller a blank check and prepare to pay him so that the Denver Broncos can win from now on.
“Win from now on”; these have been the words preached by John Elway since he took over as GM of the Denver Broncos in January of 2011. The work John has done working within the salary cap guidelines for years has been masterful.
He has negotiated several deals that were very team friendly in terms of not handcuffing the team long term if it didn’t work out, but still providing big name players with big name deals. Elway has consistently aimed to win negotiations. When he puts a number on a guy, he draws a thick line in the sand and it is up to the player to decide whether he wants to be a member of the Broncos, or play elsewhere.
However, we have come to a point where Elway needs put his ego to the side and read the writing on the wall. Your best, and most important player on a Super Bowl Championship team is up for a new deal, and you need to pay this man. The NFL is a “what have you done for me lately” league. Well, Von Miller just delivered some really big rings to a really big team, as Drake would say.
I understand how guaranteeing too much money to a player that probably won’t be playing up to that standard three years from now can hogtie a team for years to come. However, Von will be 29 entering the third year of that deal, and he learned how to train his body from Demarcus Ware, who was still going strong at the age of 32 last year. I’d put my money on Von to still be performing at a Hall of Fame type level by the time he is 29.
Guarantee the money John; Von needs to be paid now, and for more reasons then the Broncos need their best player to have a chance to repeat. They need to pay Von now, so that they can win from now on.
The reality of the situation is this; as great of a recruiter as John Elway has been over the past 4 years really, he only had to reel in one really big fish; Peyton Manning. While Peyton was an unbelievable snag, perhaps the greatest of all time, Manning did the rest of the work, attracting names like Wes Welker, Demarcus Ware, Aqib Talib, T.J. Ward, among others to come here and accept deals that were perhaps slightly lower than they could have got elsewhere.
The success that has come from playing alongside Manning has also helped Elway extend players like Chris Harris and Derek Wolfe to deals that were far below market value had they waited to hit the market. The Broncos no longer
have the lure of playing with a top-5 quarterback of all time. Guys aren’t just going to line up to come play for the Broncos the way they have for the past few years.
And it would not be a good look for the Broncos at all if Von Miller cannot even get a contract deserving of a Super Bowl MVP, and perhaps top-5 talent of all time at his position.
If the Broncos go ahead and take this hard line stance with Von, and refuse to pay him market value, it is going to turn off free agents for years to come.
All these team-friendly deals Elway has secured with players like Demarcus Ware, Aqib Talib, T.J. Ward the past few years, well you can forget about them. Agents of these players won’t even take John Elway’s calls when he is looking for their service. It’s possible that rookies will push to not even be drafted by the Broncos, basically the same thing Elway did to the Colts.
In this league, money talks, and the way you treat your players matters. By not paying Von Miller, Elway would be sending a message that there is basically nothing that a player can do to earn a top contract.
If delivering 60 sacks in 5 years wasn’t enough to earn a mega-deal, Von Miller delivered an unprecedented two game performance including 5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles, and an interception in the two biggest games of his career, the AFC Championship game and the Super Bowl. He was directly responsible for the Broncos only two touchdowns of the big game, and also walked away with Super Bowl MVP honors.
If none of this matters, and Elway still is refusing to guarantee what the market says Von Miller is worth, then the rest of the league will take notice. If there is no way to earn top dollar from the Broncos, why would anyone want to play for them?
That is not the type of reputation that the Broncos want, and in order to win from now on, as Elway has always suggested, the Broncos are going to need Elway to be able to recruit guys to these team friendly deals to surround his building blocks like Von Miller who are being paid top dollar.
The good news? Today is only June 14th, meaning there is a whole month and a day to make this right. The Broncos are going to need a happy Von Miller to win now, and are going to need to be an attractive destination to come play if they are going to win from now on. Broncos Country wants more really big rings, so pay the man John and lets do some more really big things.
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