It has come down to this. Crunch time. We are now approximately 24 hours from the Friday afternoon deadline for Von Miller to sign a new deal.
The Broncos have offered Miller a huge pile of money, but sticking points remain in the on-going contract negotiations.
But maybe negotiations is the wrong word to use. The two sides are apparently not really engaged in traditional talks. Instead, the Broncos make an offer and then Miller’s team simply accepts or rejects it.
“Miller’s camp has interpreted that as an effort by the organization to impose its will on the player,” says Mike Florio of Pro-Football Talk. “It may have worked for other players, but it hasn’t worked for Miller. Unless the team’s will at some point matches what Miller wants, it may never work.”
The feeling early this week was that an agreement could come together at any moment, with only a few million dollars of room between what Miller wants and the Broncos’ latest offer.
Mike Klis at KUSA says now that he’s “not so sure” that a deal will get done, noting that the Broncos have been tough negotiators:
"A case can be made the Broncos’ bargaining strategies were factors in losing Elvis Dumervil, Julius Thomas and Brock Osweiler and the team couldn’t get a trade done this offseason for quarterback Colin Kaepernick."
Elway’s negotiation style has rubbed Von Miller the wrong way for a while. He clearly resents that the team has released details of their offers to the public.
"After the Broncos submitted their latest proposal last Friday, the two sides are not far apart. But it’s clear there is a personal element in these negotiations that can’t be discounted.If the Broncos don’t make one more move with their contract offer to Miller in the next two days, does he take the deal? There should be reason for Broncos’ anxiety to rise."
Yes, the anxiety is rising. We’re hours away from potentially losing the Super Bowl MVP for at least the entire season.
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The stalemate has left some wondering if the Broncos would try to engineer a last-minute trade if they couldn’t get ink on paper, rather than allow Miller to sit out the season.
Whatever happens, Miller has made it absolutely clear he won’t play under the franchise tag.
If the Broncos are serious about winning this year, they’ll need to blink and give him what he wants.
It seems almost certain that Miller would sign if John Elway would just make nice and offer to sweeten the pot one last time.