The Denver Broncos are expected to use the franchise tag on Von Miller, but could that move mean Brock Osweiler will become a free agent this spring?
Ian Rapoport suggested this as a plausible scenario Sunday morning as the Broncos prepare for Super Bowl 50:
One reason Von Miller will get tagged: He wants to be the highest paid defensive player in football. Means Osweiler could hit the market tho
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) February 7, 2016
The projected franchise value for Miller next year is $14.1 million, per CBS Sports. In terms of base salary, Ndamukong Suh heads the list for highest-paid defensive players (base salary) at $23.5 million, with Darrelle Revis ($17 million) and Justin Houston ($14.9 million) in second and third place.
Both the Broncos and Miller most certainly would rather work out a long-term deal, and knowing how John Elway works (he gets what he wants), he’s going to get it done. However, this could handcuff him as it relates to locking up Osweiler, as Rapoport suggested.
Obviously, on the surface this would be an easy call to make, if one had to choose between Miller — one of the NFL’s preeminent pass-rushers and game-changing players — or Osweiler, who has little NFL experience but showed some promise this year.
But as the old saying goes, you don’t win in the NFL without a quarterback.
Assuming Peyton Manning retires after Super Bowl 50 and Osweiler bolts for greener pastures elsewhere, the only other quarterback on Denver’s roster right now is Trevor Siemian. Siemian was drafted in the seventh round last year out of Northwestern, where he threw 27 touchdowns and 24 interceptions in four years for the Wildcats.
The Broncos have gone all-in the past few years to give Manning the best chance to win a championship. Things are going to get rather interesting, however, as the restructuring process moves to the forefront afterwards.