Denver Broncos: The Von Miller clock is officially ticking

Denver Broncos OLB Von Miller - Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Denver Broncos OLB Von Miller - Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports /

One of the most difficult decisions facing new Denver Broncos general manager George Paton is what to do with Von Miller’s club contract option for the 2021 season.

A report emerged from ESPN’s Dan Graziano that the Denver Broncos were “likely” to decline the 2021 contract option for Miller but Broncos and NFL insider Benjamin Allbright reached out to his sources, who told him that no decision has been made.

Miller has a cap hit of $22.225 million this season for the Denver Broncos. At the age of 32 this season and coming off of a lost year due to injury, it would make sense that the Broncos would not want to bring him back at that figure.

If the team declines Miller’s contract option, they would save $18 million in cap space. With that in mind, there is no doubt that the Denver Broncos would rather not let Von Miller go as one of George Paton’s first moves as general manager of the team.

That would be a significant blow to the already fairly low morale of Broncos Country, even if it makes all of the financial sense in the world.

At the end of the day, George Paton has to do what he thinks is best for the Denver Broncos, and with Miller under criminal investigation right now, the team has a difficult decision to make.

Is Miller going to be amicable to a restructured (and reduced) salary on a multi-year extension to stay with the Broncos? At this point, that seems like the only way he’s going to stick around.

Miller has won a Super Bowl in Denver, as well as a Super Bowl MVP. He’s been to a number of Pro Bowls and has been snubbed of Defensive MVP awards throughout his career. At this point in his career, what is Miller looking for?

All throughout the 2020 season, we saw photos and videos of Miller chumming at practice with the team. He didn’t necessarily have to be there. He’s talked repeatedly about wanting to be a Bronco for life, but also understands the business side of things.

Keeping Miller at a cap figure over $22 million just doesn’t feel realistic at this point but before the clock actually started ticking on the Denver Broncos having to make a decision here, it seemed like things might just be figured out.

Miller’s injury in 2020 and his recent off-field issues have complicated matters and perhaps made the decision for the team to decline the 2021 option on their own.

Losing Von Miller and getting nothing in return would be a massive blow for the Denver Broncos. It would be even more painful knowing that we only got to see four games with Miller and Bradley Chubb on the field together in Vic Fangio’s defense.

Hopefully, the Denver Broncos and Von Miller will be able to have some productive and fruitful discussions about a possible restructure and contract extension to help Miller continue to build his legacy with the Broncos and get this team back into playoff contention.

Even at the age of 32, Miller is a transcendental type of athlete whose physical abilities aren’t going to be a question. he will be able to play at a high level for a number of years yet.

The question is, will he be playing with the Denver Broncos or not?