The Denver Broncos and star pass rusher/Connect Four enthusiast Von Miller have two days to get a long-term deal done. After months of haggling, passive-aggressive social media posts and spin from both sides, the 2 p.m. Friday deadline is looming.
Wednesday, The Denver Post reported the Broncos’ latest offer to Miller: six years, $114.5 million, with $57.5 million to be paid out by next March. That offer marks progress — the Broncos appear to have front-loaded more of the money in the deal — but it still does not equal the $63 million in guaranteed money the Philadelphia Eagles gave defensive lineman Fletcher Cox in June.
Miller has repeatedly said he refuses to play on the one-year franchise tender, which would pay him a little more than $14 million, if he and the Broncos can’t agree on a multi-year contract.
So, will a deal get done at the last minute?
A look back at a trio of big contracts involving the Houston Texans’ Justin Houston, the Dallas Cowboys’ Dez Bryant and Miller’s teammate Demaryius Thomas that were signed on the July 15 deadline last year suggests it’s probable.
There are a lot of parallels between Miller’s situation and the ones Bryant, Thomas and Houston went through a season ago.
All three were coming off career years and facing the threat of playing the season on the one-year franchise tender. All three were seeking long-term deals. And all three players’ teams were being stubborn about giving them those multi-year contracts.
Then July 15 rolled around and Houston — coming off a 22-sack season — got a six-year deal worth $52.5 million guaranteed. A couple hours later, Bryant and Thomas agreed to five-year deals worth $45 million guaranteed and $43.5 million guaranteed, respectively.
Bryant, in particular, was extremely vocal about his refusal to play on the franchise tender. He was adamant about sitting out the season if he didn’t get long-term security. (Sound familiar?) He and the Cowboys didn’t strike a deal until one hour before the deadline.
Will it come to that with the Broncos and Miller? And in the doomsday scenario that there is no multi-year agreement, does Miller really have the restraint to miss regular season games? The picture should be a little clearer about 48 hours from now.