According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, the Denver Broncos plan on using the Franchise Tag on outside linebacker Von Miller this offseason.
Unless the two sides reach a long-term deal in the next month, Broncos will use franchise tag on Pro Bowl LB Von Miller, per league sources.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) February 7, 2016
This really is not a surprise.
Many have assumed that the Broncos would slap Miller with the Franchise tag this offseason. He is an elite talent, and you do not let talents like that hit the open market.
However, this means that the Broncos will have to pay big if they want to keep Von Miller in a Denver Broncos uniform for the years to come. According to the NFL Networks Ian Rapoport, Von Miller is aiming to be the highest paid defensive player in the league. He goes on to speculate that this might allow quarterback Brock Osweiler to hit the open market.
I'm sure Miller's agent is looking at Kansas City Chiefs outside linebacker Justin Houston contract as a starting point in contract talks. This past offseason, Kansas City Chiefs linebacker Justin Houston signed a 6 year, $101,000,000 contract including a $20,500,000 signing bonus, $52,500,000 guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $16,833,333.
If Miller wants to be the highest-paid defensive player, he will have to top the contract the Miami Dolphins gave to defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh. He signed a 6 year, $114,375,000 contract with the Miami Dolphins, including a $25,500,000 signing bonus, $59,955,000 guaranteed, and an average annual salary of $19,062,500.
That's the type of contract that Miller will be getting no matter where he signs, and he has earned it.
During his five seasons in the NFL he has totaled 260 tackles, 60 sacks, 17 forced fumbles, 10 pass deflections, 1 interception, and 1 touchdown during the regular season.
In six postseason games, Miller has totaled 21 tackles, 4 sacks, and 1 interception. He is about to play his seventh postseason game tonight in Super Bowl, and how he performs on this big stage can only help make him some more money.
So I ask you Broncos Country, would you make Von Miller the highest paid defensive player this offseason?