Denver Broncos: Von Miller should not be asked about taking a pay cut

Von Miller, Denver Broncos outside linebacker. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports
Von Miller, Denver Broncos outside linebacker. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports /

The media should not be asking Von Miller about taking a pay cut in 2021.

The media should not be asking Denver Broncos superstar Von Miller if he’s willing to take a reduced salary or pay cut in 2021 so he can remain part of the team.

I would end the article right there, but there’s plenty to explain the why behind that statement.

On Wednesday, Miller was asked by Zach Bye and Brandon Stokley on 104.3 The FAN in Denver whether or not he would accept or be receptive to an offer from the Broncos if they came to him with an offer for the long-term at a bit of a reduced rate.

The question clearly — and understandably — upset Von. Especially because the answer to this question already exists in a public forum.

After the interview, the radio station actually called Von out on Twitter, expressing their disappointment with the way he handled the remainder of the interview.

Keep in mind that Stokley, who was once a teammate of Miller’s in Denver, has — on a variety of occasions — publicly expressed his opinion that the Denver Broncos need to trade arguably the best defensive player in franchise history, the best player in Denver over the last two-plus decades, and the best player the Broncos have ever drafted.

Stokley has been doubling, tripling, quadrupling down on his ‘trade Von’ movement for the better part of the last three years, and now he feels like he can ask Miller on a public forum if he would be receptive to a pay cut?

It’s hard to believe what people will do for attention sometimes. In case you wondered how the radio station is handling this, they’re exploiting Von’s reaction for retweets and more listeners here on Thursday.

So, why should media not ask players like Von Miller about their contract and, specifically, taking a pay cut?

If Von comes out and says he’s open to a pay cut, he loses all leverage in negotiations, and then he’s the bad guy if the Broncos come to him with an offer he doesn’t like or that isn’t fair and he turns them down, and the two sides part ways.

If Von comes out and says he’s not going to take a pay cut, the radio station gets to push a narrative they already believe to be true that there’s no way Von Miller is a Denver Bronco in 2021 without a pay cut.

In 2015, the Denver Broncos faced the ugly and unfortunate reality of having to approach the legendary Peyton Manning about a pay reduction, not unlike what they might have to do with Von Miller. The conversations happened behind closed doors, and Manning eventually agreed to reduce his 2015 salary from $19 million to $15 million, and he ended up making the $4 million back through incentives anyway.

Imagine that.

After the new contract was forged, Manning was asked by the media about it.

"“I don’t talk about my contract. I never have in 18 years and I’m not going to start now.”Peyton Manning (via Denver Post)"

Yet the radio station used Manning’s willingness to take a pay cut as a reason to ask Von the same question.

Why should Von have to answer that question? Why is it surprising that it is upsetting to him?

Miller has busted his butt and been an incredible teammate through three straight losing seasons, three head coaching changes, four years with no playoff appearances, and generally some of the worst times in Denver Broncos history.

Like he said in the interview which asked the appropriate question about Von being with the same team for his entire career:

"“I want to be here through the thick, the thin, the Super Bowl seasons, the losing seasons. I want to be here forever.”Von Miller"

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Asking a player, especially one of Von Miller’s stature, if they are willing to take a pay cut in front of the fans is not something that should happen, no matter what the situation looks like on paper.