ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — The Denver Broncos have upped their offer to Von Miller by offering to guarantee the Super Bowl MVP a record $70 million of the six-year deal, a person with knowledge of the negotiations told The Associated Press.
The person spoke to the AP on condition of anonymity to share candid details of the blockbuster offer that also was reported by ESPN and the NFL Network.
The sides have until 4 p.m. EDT Friday to get a signed deal into NFL headquarters.
Miller’s agent, Joby Branion, and the Broncos agreed to the parameters of a six-year, $114.5 million deal last month but Miller’s camp held out for more guaranteed money.
The June offer included $38.5 million in guarantees over the first two years, another $1.3 million in workout bonuses, plus the chance to earn another $19.5 million in guaranteed money in 2018.
General manager John Elway reignited talks last week when he offered to move up guaranteed money in Year 3 to next March.
This week, he upped the overall guaranteed money.
Elway’s offer now far surpasses the $63 million in guarantees that Philadelphia’s Fletcher Cox received last month and represents the most money ever offered a non-quarterback in the NFL.
The latest proposal checks off all the boxes for Miller — the biggest overall contract for a non-QB in league history, most guaranteed money for an NFL defensive player and a benchmark deal that raises the bar for the next superstar.
Franchise players have to sign long-term deals by 4 p.m. EDT Friday. Without a signed contract delivered to NFL headquarters by the deadline, they would only be allowed to play the 2016 season for their tender, $14,129,000 in Miller’s case.
That’s something Miller has insisted he won’t do. Last month, he threatened to sit out the season absent a blockbuster deal.
The star of Super Bowl 50 skipped the Broncos’ offseason program, only joining his teammates for their White House visit and ring ceremony. But Miller stayed in tip-top shape, in part by participating in “Dancing With The Stars.”
Miller predicted peaceful contract negotiations 12 hours after spearheading Denver’s 24-10 win over Carolina in the Super Bowl when his two sack-strips of Cam Newton led to both of Denver’s touchdowns. But things got thorny last month. After details of Denver’s June 7 offer became public, Miller cropped Elway from a photo on his Instagram account and then said there was no way he’d play this season on the franchise tag.
As negotiations reignited, Miller’s teammates expressed confidence things would work out.
“I think it will happen because me and Elway went down to the wire last year,” said receiver Demaryius Thomas, who signed a $70 million deadline deal (including $43.5 million guaranteed) in 2015 with only about 30 minutes to spare.