ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — Super Bowl MVP Von Miller’s camp has rejected a contract proposal that would have made him the highest-paid non-quarterback in NFL history, a person familiar with the matter told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
The person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitive nature of negotiations, said Miller’s representatives rejected a six-year, $114.5 million offer that included $39.8 million in guarantees in the first two years.
Joby Branion, who represents Miller, didn’t immediately return a message left by The AP seeking comment on the rejected offer, which was first reported by ESPN.
Although the NFL’s collective bargaining agreement gives teams until July 15 to work out long-term contract extensions with franchised players, Broncos general manager John Elway imposed a Tuesday night cutoff because he wanted Miller to attend this week’s mandatory minicamp and not miss the entire offseason program.
Elway could revisit Miller’s contract, but he’s turning his attention toward negotiations with wide receiver Emmanuel Sanders and inside linebacker Brandon Marshall.
Miller guided the Broncos to a 24-10 win over Carolina in Super Bowl 50 with two sack-strips of NFL MVP Cam Newton that led to both of Denver’s touchdowns. That came after he collected 2½ sacks and intercepted Tom Brady in the AFC championship game.
The Broncos placed their exclusive franchise tag on Miller, who has 60 sacks and 6½ more in the playoffs. If the sides don’t return to the table and work out a deal, he would have to play the 2016 season under the one-year $14.129 million tender.
Miller predicted peaceful negotiations while his agent sought a contract topping Ndamukong Suh’s six-year, $114.375 million deal with the Dolphins in 2015 that includes $50 million in guarantees over the first two years.
Just Monday, Miller expressed optimism that a deal was forthcoming when he accompanied his teammates on their trip to the White House, saying the sides had “made real progress over the last couple of days.”
Elway imposed an earlier deadline than the July 15 cutoff because he’s leery of letting things go right up to the last minute, which leaves players exposed to the possibility of injury or a dip in production after missing months of offseason workouts with their teammates.
Former Broncos left tackle Ryan Clady suffered a season-ending foot injury in Week 2 after signing a five-year, $52.5 million contract just before training camp in 2013. Wide receiver Demaryius Thomas saw a dip in his production last year after signing a five-year, $70 million deal at the deadline.
Thomas topped 100 catches again last season, but his 12.4 yards per catch represented a significant decline from his 15.1-yard career average, and his touchdowns dropped from 11 in 2014 to six last season. He also dropped 18 passes and in the playoffs collected just seven receptions for 60 yards and no touchdowns.
Elway criticized Thomas for skipping offseason workouts last year, but didn’t do the same with Miller, suggesting in April that it was good for him to get away from football for a while.
He didn’t want that vacation to last any longer, but couldn’t convince him with his latest contract offer.