Cole mentions that while this is a staggering sum of money for a non-quarterback, DE Olivier Vernon managed to secure $17 million annually from the Giants, and Miller is considered to be a far better player than Vernon.
GMs around the league have told Cole that they don’t think $20 million is all that unrealistic for Miller while adding that he could make as much as $24-$25 million annually if he were able to test the open market as an unrestricted free agent.
This situation could ultimately come down to Miller’s willingness to play out the 2016 season under the franchise tag rather than accept a long-term deal from the Broncos that could include less money.
The two sides will 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.