Von Miller reiterates desire to remain with Broncos during TV appearance

ByJeff Legwold ESPN logo
Wednesday, June 15, 2016

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- With a few days to digest, it seems any hard feelings linebacker Von Miller had with the Denver Broncos have subsided at least some.

Miller and his representatives turned down a six-year, $114.5 million offer from the team last week and frustration had bubbled on both sides of the negotiating table, including Miller cropping out John Elway from a photo taken at the White House that Miller later posted on social media.

However in an appearance on Chelsea Handler's Netflix talk show, "Chelsea," Miller offered a verbal olive branch or two.

Asked by Handler to explain the dynamics of the franchise-player tag and his negotiations with the team, Miller said:

"I want to be a Bronco forever, I just want the feeling to be the same from the Broncos,'' Miller said.

After some applause from the studio audience, Handler then asked Miller if there was a possibility he would sit out the season.

"Nah, we still have a month,'' Miller said. "I just can't see myself -- my boys T.J. Ward, Aqib Talib, Kayvon Webster, DeMarcus Ware, all those guys, I built very, very close relationships with all those guys and I would like to continue to build that for the rest of my career.''

The stalemate between Miller and the Broncos, at the moment, largely centers on guaranteed money. While the Broncos offer to Miller would be the biggest total contract for a defensive player in history, the guaranteed money is less in the first two years of the deal than Olivier Vernon received from the Giants and what Fletcher Cox gets in a deal signed this week with the Philadelphia Eagles.

In the offer from the Broncos that was turned away by Miller and his representatives, there was $38.9 million in guaranteed money in the first two years of deal, $58 million in potential guarantees overall. Vernon has $52.5 million worth of potential guarantees in a five-year, $85 million deal with $40.5 million guaranteed on signing and $12 more potentially guaranteed on the fifth day of the league year in 2018.

In Cox's six-year, $102.6 million deal signed this week, he received $36.299 million in guaranteed money at signing and additional $19.25 million in additional salary guarantees in March of 2017 for $55.549 million in guarantees within nine months of signing.

And that's like the template the Broncos and Miller's agents are working from now.

Asked Tuesday if the Broncos' signing of linebacker Brandon Marshall (four years, $32 million) impacted negotiations with Miller, Elway quickly said "no.''

Millers remarks on Handler's show mirror what he has said throughout the process, often saying he wanted to be "a Bronco for life.'' During the team's White House trip earlier this month, Miller said the two sides had made "real progress'' on a new deal.

Miller added that day, "I remain optimistic about everything.'' And just days later, he turned away the Broncos' offer and both sides took a break from negotiating.

They all face a July 15 deadline to get long-term deals for players who carry the franchise-player tag. If there is not long-term deal for Miller, he could play the season under the franchise-player tag, a one-year salary of just over $14 million.

Miller did attend the Broncos' ring ceremony Sunday night.