The Broncos slapped a $14.1 million franchise tag on star linebacker Von Miller this offseason, but were hoping to get him signed to a long-term deal before today’s team-imposed deadline. Talks between the two sides have broken off, though, and the Broncos are probably very, very mad at the New York Giants right now.
Think back to March, when the Giants poached defensive end Olivier Vernon away from the Dolphins with a five-year, $85 million contract that came with $52.5 million in guarantees. If you’re like me, you remember reading that news and saying, “Who the hell is Olivier Vernon and why is he getting more guaranteed money than J.J. Watt?” before moving on with your life.
Vernon is a fine player, but that is a huge amount of money to throw at a guy who has 29 sacks in 64 career games. The Giants gave him one of those outlandish contracts that can dramatically inflate the market and gum up the works during future negotiations, and that’s exactly what’s happening in Denver. Miller is coming off a huge season, and doesn’t want to walk away from the table with a contract that sees him making roughly the same amount as a guy who a lot of football fans probably still don’t know exists. From USA Today:
Miller’s reps refered not only to Suh’s contract, but the recent $17 million a year deal the New York Giants gave defensive lineman Olivier Vernon that included $29 million in year one cash. Vernon has 29.0 career sacks and no playoff appearances. Miller has 60.0 career sacks and 6.5 more in the postseason.
You can gauge the Broncos’ frustration by the fact that they did something teams rarely do in these situations and leaked the details of their offer to the media:
The subtext here is “Sheesh, how much does this guy want from us?” Unless Vernon goes out and gets himself 20 sacks the season, the answer to that question is going to remain, “Remember when I basically won the Super Bowl by myself? I need enough that I’m not even in the same galaxy as Oliver Verndon or whatever his name is.”