With the Broncos falling to 0-4 and with a murderer’s row of a schedule ahead of them, the boo birds have started their transformation into a wake of vultures.
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk was the most recent example of this new strategy by the national media when he suggested the Broncos trade off Von Miller on Wednesday.
Denver’s 0-4 start to the season based on the next four games (at Chargers, Titans, Chiefs, at Colts) could become 2-6 or 1-7 or even 0-8. Two days after that eighth game, the trade window closes. If/when (when) it’s clear that the Broncos have no chance to make it to the playoffs, why not consider dumping salaries and obtaining draft picks for players who likely won’t be around by the time what has become a disaster in Denver turns competitive again?
The most valuable asset is Super Bowl 50’s Most Valuable Player. Von Miller, who turned 30 earlier this year, is signed through 2021 at salaries of $17 million this year, $17.5 million next year, and $17.5 million in the final year of his deal. As the market currently goes, that’s a fairly attractive price for a guy who may still be able to do plenty of damage in the right defense. Maybe there’s a contender that would give up a pair of first-round picks for him.
It’s a tempting offer at first glance. Two first round picks could certainly help the Broncos’ rebuilding efforts, especially if Elway deems quarterback a need and looks to take another stab at a signal caller in 2020 or 2021.
What Florio (intentionally?) overlooks, however is the sheer cost of the move to the Broncos. To get an idea of the financial ramifications to such a move, I looked at Overthecap.
As you can see from the images above, moving Von Miller at the deadline as Florio suggests would carry almost $20 million in dead cap. From a purely financial aspect, it’s not the kind of move teams make with productive players. The Pittsburgh Steelers ate a $21.1 million cap hit to move Antonio Brown last spring, but did so because of locker room and chemistry concerns. I suspect the John Elway wouldn’t consider this, even with the Broncos likely to have more than $50 million in cap room in 2020.
So even if you’re willing and able to dehumanize Miller enough to look at his value through a cost/return lens, it seems unlikely he’ll play in another uniform in 2019. If you stop to consider what he means to the Broncos beyond his on-field production/trade value, a potential Miller trade doesn’t just look impossible, but irresponsible.
There’s no doubt about it, Von Miller is the face of the Broncos. He has been one of the two best players on every single roster since at least 2014, and arguably before that as well. It’s no coincidence that the Broncos defense moved from a bottom three unit towards league average upon his arrival in 2011 and has been a top ten unit since in every other year he played a full season until now.
Over the course of their 60 year history, the Broncos have won three championships and been to eight others. You don’t contend for that many Lombardis without some All-Time Greats. On defense alone, there’s been Steve Atwater, Champ Bailey, Karl Mecklenberg, Tom Jackson, Randy Gradishar. I could go on: Wright, Smith, Pryce, Wilson. Von Miller stands out among them.
The 2015 defense isn’t anywhere near great enough to carry Manning to a title without Miller’s dominance through the playoffs and Super Bowl 50. Von is clearly one of best Broncos ever, and his mark is all over the franchise history. His records for sacks, forced fumbles, and tackles for a loss tell part of the story, but only part. Not only did he secure Peyton Manning a second title, but he’s clearly been the face of the franchise since the Sheriff rode off into the sunset.
Trading that player would carry with it real damage to John Elway’s legacy as a General Manager. At the end of the day, every player knows the NFL is a business first and foremost, and yet trading Von Miller would mark the Broncos. It would be a stain on the franchise that free agents and current players wouldn’t forget.
Let there be no mistake, dumping 58 would hurt the locker room. His leadership shows every time the young edge players rush a passer. Bradley Chubb’s work with Von this off-season was clearly showing up in his tape prior to the ACL tear against Jacksonville. There would be a void that draft capital does little to repair.
Maybe I’m just a fan, and maybe I can’t see the justification to trading Von Miller because he’s my favorite player. Perhaps at 1-7 or god forbid 0-8 Von wants out and the Broncos mercifully find him a way to chase a ring. I suspect even then I’d grieve.
It may just be folly, but I don’t think the Broncos are so far off that Miller won’t still be an integral part of the next contender. And even if I’m wrong, some players are more valuable than draft picks.
Von is one such player.
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Here is your Thursday injury report for the Denver Broncos and the Los Angeles Rams.
In a mind-numbing loss, the Denver Broncos fell to 0-4. The team looks snake-bitten, and I think I speak for all of Broncos Country in being sick of losing football.
here is a really good example of exploiting the rules of flooded coverage. split flow and now weak hook has RB m/m. the #3 or strong hook needs to take ORIGINAL #3 thru to flat bc you cant pass back crosser, weak hook is vacated. tough for CB to fight thru all that traffic m/m pic.twitter.com/P9Gqs96CY4— betz (@alltwentytwo) October 2, 2019
Elijah Wilkinson joined Ryan Edwards and Benjamin Allbright on the Broncos Country Tonight to discuss the play of the offensive line.
At 0-4, Broncos players have much more pressing issues than fan sentiment.
Just a reminder, the majority of the now top teams of the NFL wandered for years in the wilderness of finding their franchise QB before finding success. (Eagles, Rams, Chiefs, Texans, etc.) Dallas and Green Bay lucked into back-2-back franchise QBs, but that's the exception.— Jeffrey Essary (@JeffreyEssary) October 1, 2019
Say it loud!!! VANCE..JOSEPH..NEVER..STARTED..0-4.. Haha. Just kidding. Welcome Broncos fans. Here is my early 2020 Denver Broncos Mock Draft.
In the same period as Elway, Belichick has drafted 3, maybe 4 starters in the first three rounds of NINE years of drafts.
It would be highly unreasonable to lump more heat on John Elway as his offer could never have guaranteed Barrett the starting role he demanded as long as Von Miller and Chubb were on multi-year contracts. Also, Barrett’s nine sacks and game wrecking performances that have him on course for defensive player of the year have been way beyond even Tampa Bay’s wildest dreams.
”I want to be a starter,” he said during his weekly spot on Orange and Blue 760. “... I would never want to leave Denver. I don’t want to leave Denver, but it’s a possibility that’s looking more realistic day in and day out.”
Shaq Barrett in December “I want to start. I want to be a guy somewhere. I don’t want to just be a role player."— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) October 1, 2019
Mental gymnastics my ass. https://t.co/mX8b5E4JfZ
Lost in the Minshew Mania discussed above: Flacco’s surgical scoring drive late in the fourth quarter to give the Broncos a 24-23 lead. The 34-year-old quarterback, who’s not nearly as responsible for Denver’s 0-4 start as you think, completed all five of his passes for 80 yards and the go-ahead touchdown. It was a brilliant two-minute drill. Unfortunately, it started a minute too early, giving Minshew enough time to perform his magic and give Jacksonville the 26-24 win. And this was actually the second time on this afternoon where Flacco exited the Mile High stage too early. In the final minute of the first half, he threw his worst pass of the day, airmailing a crossing route and connecting with Jags safety Ronnie Harrison, whose deft return skills set up Jacksonville for a field goal just before the break. Three free points matter in a two-point loss.
I suspect Lock would be a clear downgrade from Flacco this year in most areas, but he'd probably be an upgrade on these plays. https://t.co/SMg6v81b1A— Joe Rowles (@JoRo_NFL) October 2, 2019
NFL Draft Links
Chris Harris Jr. has been a mainstay for the Broncos defense for about a decade, but he’s not getting any younger. Denver needs to start adding young pieces to this defense, and Jeffrey Okudah makes too much sense in this spot. He is the top cornerback in this class and a mix of former Ohio State cornerbacks Denzel Ward and Marshon Lattimore.
2020 NFL Mock Draft: Vikings, Saints draft franchise QBs to replace Kirk Cousins, Drew Brees - CBSSports.com
The Broncos’ secondary hasn’t been good through the first month of the season and came into Sunday’s game against the Jaguars with the 26th-ranked pass defense. Rookie Gardner Minshew threw for 213 yards and 2 touchdowns and Denver dropped to 0-4. At 6-foot, 200 pounds, Okudah is a physical cornerback who excels in man coverage. He earned his first college interception two weeks ago and he has 11 passes defended dating back to last season.
6. Denver Broncos Alabama WR Henry Ruggs III Heresy, you say, mocking Ruggs ahead of Jerry Jeudy? Hey, I get it. Right now, Jeudy is a more polished, refined receiver than Ruggs, and there’s a hot-and-cold element to Ruggs’ game that must be factored in. But he possesses rare, field-tilting speed and could be exactly what the Broncos need. Emmanuel Sanders is still doing things, but he’s turning 33 in March and could be a trade option this season as the Broncos (0-4) find themselves out of contention again. Ruggs might break John Ross’ 4.22-second 40-yard dash mark at the NFL scouting combine and is averaging a touchdown every 3.6 touches, which is ridiculous. Don’t be shocked if Ruggs goes ahead of Jeudy when it’s all said and done, even if Jeudy might be viewed as the safer choice. Would it stun anyone if the Broncos tried their damnedest to get into the Tua-Herbert range? In that scenario, they’d dangle Drew Lock and yet again switch gears at QB. It has become a time-honored hallmark of the John Elway era.
NFL mock draft 2020: Dolphins rewarded for tanking; Jets, Broncos, Eagles land impact defenders | Sporting News
Grant Delpit, S, LSU The Broncos’ secondary has Chris Harris Jr., Bryce Callahan and not much else. They are missing someone who can fly around the field, stop the run like an extra linebacker and make big plays while inside in coverage. Delpit plays like the Chargers’ Derwin James with tremendous size (6-3, 203 pounds) for the position.
Instead of taking the typical top paragraph as an opportunity for colorful background or rousing preamble,
Our staff members each released updated 2020 NFL Draft Big Boards and Positional Rankings this week
When asked about the reports that he wants out of Minnesota, he said, “There’s truth to all rumors. I won’t be speaking on that,” per The Athletic.
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