According to Fowler, the two sides still consider there to be a wide gap in regards to the guaranteed money included in Miller’s next contract. Numerous reports have said that guaranteed money will be the largest hurdle for the two sides to get over in the coming weeks.
Fowler points out that this really comes down to the structure of the contract, considering that both Denver and the Miller are comfortable with the six-year, $114.5-million setup.
Sources tell Fowler that Miller has at least explored the possibility of sitting out the 2016 season, which would allow him to become a non-exclusive franchise player. The benefit here is that it would reduce compensation for another team bidding on him to a first- and third-round pick.
It’s a lot to part with on top of a likely record-setting contract, but you can’t rule out a team making Miller an offer.
Miller mentioned last week that while he loves his teammates, coaches, and fans, “there is no chance” of him playing out the 2016 season under the franchise tag.
“I love my Teammates, Coaches, and My Fans” but there is “No Chance” I play the 2016 season under the Franchise tag,” Miller wrote.
Miller recently told Chelsea Handler that he “want[s] to be a Bronco forever.”
“I want to be a Bronco forever,” Miller said, per Nicki Jhabvala. “I just want the feeling to be the same from the Broncos.”
The two sides have until July 15 to negotiate a long-term extension.
Miller, 26, is a former first-round pick of the Broncos back in 2011. After playing out his rookie deal, Denver picked up his fifth-year option and later used their franchise tag on Miller this offseason.
He’s now in line to make $15.701 million fully guaranteed for the 2016 season. However, this won’t prevent them from negotiating a long-term deal that would reduce this figure and offer them some additional cap space.
In 2015, Miller appeared all 16 games and recorded 35 tackles, 11 sacks, three fumble recoveries and four forced fumbles. Pro Football Focus has him rated as the No. 2 outside linebacker in a 3-4 defense out of 53 qualifying players.