Von Miller’s Crucial $18 Million Decision Is Looming Large for the Denver Broncos Right Now

Nothing is forever in the NFL, even when it comes to relationships like that between Von Miller and the Denver Broncos.

The second overall pick in 2011, Miller has grown into one of the greatest players in Broncos history. When the time comes, Miller may wind up with a bronze bust near former teammate Peyton Manning in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

For now, Miller seems intent on playing in 2021 — and if he does, it may not be with the Broncos, who need to decide on their star linebacker’s future soon.

Von Miller is among the greatest players in Broncos history

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Von Miller’s first nine NFL seasons may have been enough to land him in the Hall of Fame when he hangs his cleats up forever.

Across 135 games with the Broncos, Miller totaled 106 sacks, forced 26 fumbles, recovered another nine, and scored two defensive touchdowns from 2011-19. A three-time first-team All-Pro selection, Miller recorded 6.5 sacks, two forced fumbles, and a 4-yard interception in his first seven playoff games.

Miller earned Super Bowl MVP honors in February 2016 when he had 2.5 sacks and forced Panthers quarterback Cam Newton to fumble twice in the Broncos’ 24-10 victory.

An eight-time Pro Bowl selection, Miller missed the 2020 season with a severe ankle injury.

Miller might not return to the team next year

RELATED: When Will Broncos’ Linebacker Von Miller Hit Free Agency?

The likes of J.J. Watt and Tom Brady can vouch for teams not hanging onto their legends forever.

Von Miller could be next to join them on new teams. The Denver Broncos have a $7 million guarantee option on Miller’s contract ahead of the 2021 season.

Technically, the Broncos’ team option on Miller could amount to $17.5 million in total money. NBC 9 News in Denver broke down Miller’s contract situation. 

  • Denver can pay Miller the $7 million in guaranteed money but reduce the $17.5 million.
  • Denver can pay Miller all of the money that he is owed.
  • Rather than keep Miller around, the Broncos could decline his option and release him to free agency.

Denver could also exercise the $7 million option and trade Miller later this offseason. 

Veteran defensive back Kareem Jackson has a similar contract situation. Jackson’s option is for $1.5 million, and his total salary for 2021 is $10 million.

Denver has until March 16 to decide on both players’ futures.

The Denver Broncos and Von Miller need to find clarity

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The Denver Broncos will have to make a very difficult decision on Von Miller’s future regardless of what path they walk.

If they pick up Miller’s option, they’re guaranteeing $7 million to a pass-rusher coming off a severe ankle injury. Miller’s eight sacks in 2019 marked his fewest since 2013, when he totaled five in nine games.

If Denver declines Miller’s option, they run the risk of parting ways with him entirely. The Broncos could always re-sign Miller for a lower cost, but he turns 32 in March.

Since winning Super Bowl 50 in 2016, the Broncos have been among the league’s worst teams. Cutting Miller, a fan favorite and Pro Bowl-caliber player, might be a risky move.

Additionally, the Parker Police Department (Colo.) also has Miller “under criminal investigation.” Parker County has not commented on why they are investigating Miller.

A police spokesperson recently told NBC9’s Mike Klis that the investigation remains active.

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