Picking up Von Miller’s option doesn’t make any sense
Mar 18, 2021, 6:30 AM | Updated: 10:20 am
(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
Early Tuesday news broke that the Denver Broncos were exercising the team option on the final year of pass rusher Von Miller’s contract, guaranteeing him $7 million of his $18 million salary in 2021.
But with newly-hired general manager George Paton now calling the shots, Denver needs to realize its in full rebuild mode and shouldn’t have picked up Miller’s option.
What’s the point of having Miller, who may leave Denver after this upcoming season, play on a one-year deal knowing his cap number is $22.2 million and this team isn’t close to the playoffs?
Denver had offered a restructured deal to Miller, per 9News Broncos Insider Mike Klis, but he declined. Paton then went ahead and agreed to give Miller what he wanted: his current deal.
With the Broncos in rebuild mode, they easily could’ve released Miller and saved the $18 million in cap space to spend on more free agents or pay their own players. Paton could’ve easily spent that money on an additional cornerback or a defensive lineman that can rush the quarterback.
There were plenty of great pass rushers on the free agent market this offseason, and the Broncos could’ve signed one for about the same money as Miller, or even cheaper. Or younger. Maybe Denver could’ve signed multiple good pass rushers instead of just a great one.
Even if the Broncos didn’t value any of the pass-rushers this offseason, they could’ve saved that $18 million and rolled it over into next year and gone after a big time free agent in 2022. Maybe Denver targets an elite cornerback or even a top middle linebacker that can cover.
They’ll also be looking to replace Ja’Wuan James at right tackle in 2022 as well. There’s still plenty of holes that Denver needs to fill for the future and the Broncos seem to be holding themselves back from spending.
Paton believes that Miller is still a good player despite him coming off a season-ending ankle injury, turning 32 and totaling up just eight sacks in his last full season.
Plenty of people also believe that by picking up Miller’s option means that they can buy time this summer, by extending and restructuring his deal for the future. Why would Miller decide to restructure his deal now? He got his $7 million option and is locked in for this season. If Miller has the chance to hit the open market next offseason, he would still get more money than if he was to restructure for Denver.
Miller went public on Instagram after his option was picked up, saying, “I have totally bought into being a Coloradoan for life, let alone a Denver Bronco. I want to be here forever through the thick, the thin, the Super Bowl seasons, the losing seasons. I want to be here forever.”
The issue with that statement is that if Miller wants to remain with the Broncos for the rest of his career through the thick and the thin, why didn’t he restructure now? Why didn’t Miller take less money to help this organization save money to spend elsewhere?
This Broncos team needs depth on defense, and paying an aging pass rusher $18 million instead of spreading that money around just doesn’t make sense for a team in a rebuild.