Since his MVP performance that helped the Denver Broncos win the Super Bowl back at the start of February, it's been almost guaranteed that Von Miller will be staying with the AFC West franchise for the 2016 season and perhaps beyond.
However, it wasn't clear how the linebacker would be signed back on to the team, whether that be through a new contract or through the franchise tag. Now, reports by the Denver Post have suggested that the Broncos “are expected” to apply the exclusive tag to their established star.
The exclusive tag prevents other teams from offering Miller a contract, and it also provides the current Super Bowl champions time to keep talking to his agent, in order to try and agree to a long-term deal before the deadline of July 15.
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According to Pro Football Talk, it's no surprise that the Broncos have decided to use the exclusive tag on the 26-year-old, as by rule, it will cost the same as a non-exclusive tender for linebackers, which is $14.129 million.
They also said: "By using the exclusive tag, the Broncos risk an uptick in linebacker contracts with high 2016 cap numbers, which would drive up the exclusive tender beyond $14.129 million."
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If the Broncos hadn't used the exclusive tag on Miller, they could have lost him to a team picking low in the first round of the draft that could also offer the linebacker a better offer than what the AFC West franchise could provide. That said team probably would have had to provide two first round picks though as well for the Broncos.
If Miller is tagged, it will fulfill the desire he made clear on the NFL Network, according to the Denver Post, to stay with the current Super Bowl champions.
He said: "I have never been franchised before so I can't really say, 'Hey I don't want to be franchised. I don't want to do this.' I can tell you what: I want to be with the Denver Broncos.
"I want to be with Derek Wolfe, Chris Harris, all those guys, DT (Demaryius Thomas). I want to be with those guys my whole career, and whatever it takes to get it done I am down for."
Miller wants to be with the Broncos for the rest of his career, and the Broncos probably think likewise, but if no deal is secured before the July 15 deadline, the linebacker could hit the free agency market in 2016, or be tagged once again for the 2017 season at a 20 percent raise.
Considering what he was able to achieve during the 2015 season, with 35 combined tackles, 11 sacks, four forced fumbles, and earning the Super Bowl MVP award, there is no doubt the Broncos would be foolish to let this player go.