Charles Robinson of Yahoo Sports spoke with two GMs on Monday who said that they expect Broncos OLB Von Miller to either match or exceed the six-year, $114.375 million contract signed by Dolphins DT Ndamukong Suh.
A few months ago, sources told Robinson that Miller had his sights set on as much as $22 million per year. However, Robinson now believes he could agree to a deal closer to what the Dolphins are paying Suh.
While the Broncos have been in a tough cap situation this year, Robinson mentions that they have much more cap room to work with in 2017. According to Robinson, the Broncos are so flexible that they could elect to front-load Miller’s massive deal to give them room to work with in the coming years.
Another factor that helps the Broncos is that instead of taking on Colin Kaepernick‘s contract in a trade or signing Brock Osweiler to a market-value contract, Denver used their first-round pick on Paxton Lynch, who has a much more affordable salary. Robinson mentions that this is likely the reason why the Broncos are willing to discuss a contract in the neighborhood of Suh’s deal.
On Monday, Miller said there has been “a lot of progress” in contract talks over the last couple days, per Mike Klis.
“I’m very optimistic about the whole thing,” Miller told reporters. “I remain optimistic about everything.”
Even Broncos HC Gary Kubiak confirmed that progress has been made in recent days, per James Palmer. Kubiak added that he would love to see Miller at minicamp on Tuesday, but understands the situation.
The two sides have until July to negotiate a long-term or Miller will end up playing out the year under the franchise tag and be in position to test the free agent market again in 2017.
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.
We’ll have more regarding a long-term contract for Miller as the news is available.