Sources: Von Miller, agent have phone meeting with Broncos


The Denver Broncos had a phone discussion Friday with pass-rusher Von Miller and agent Joby Branion about his contract, league sources told ESPN's Ed Werder.

The Broncos recently modified their offer to Miller and would fully guarantee the third year of their proposed six-year, $114.5 million contract, which would begin in March 2017. The matter of how much, and how quickly, Miller would be paid in guaranteed money in a new deal has been a sticking point between the sides.

The changed timeline of guaranteed money was first reported by 9News and confirmed by ESPN.

The deadline for franchise-tagged players to sign multiyear contracts is July 15. The total value of the Broncos' proposed contract would be the richest deal ever given to a defensive player.

Earlier this week, sources told ESPN's Adam Schefter that Broncos general manager John Elway had personally called Miller over the Fourth of July weekend to express a desire to work out a long-term deal, after almost a full month without dialogue between the sides.

Sources said Elway and Miller spent about 10-15 minutes on the phone during that call, with Elway telling Miller that the Broncos still love him and want to re-sign him. Elway told Miller during that conversation that Denver would reach out to his agents this week in an effort to jump-start talks.

In an interview with ESPN The Magazine's senior writer, Sam Alipour, on Saturday, Miller explained the nature of the phone conversation.

"Wanted to take the business side of it, don't talk numbers -- wanted to talk to him man-to-man, tell him how I was feeling," said Miller, who claims he reached out to Elway. "Some of the tactics to use and negotiate. Some of that stuff didn't have to be done, knowing the type of teammate that I am -- knock this stuff out quickly, but they have championship tactics. It works ... way for me to tell them exactly how I felt. Took my agent out of it. Some think the agent has a different message than the player. Wanted to tell him my side. We made progress on that side, getting stuff off my chest, talk to him."

Just last month, Miller publicly said he would not play this season under the franchise tag, and all contact between the sides had ceased. Some around the league thought there were hard feelings between the two sides, which could be why Elway personally reached out to Miller.

Though the sides have spoken, Miller reiterated he does not want to play under the tag.

"Never really played for money, hard to get me to do stuff, but it's bigger than one year," Miller said. "It's a leaguewide problem that I feel like I'm in a situation I can help out with."

Miller further explained his belief that the franchise tag is an issue for all players.

"Young guys coming up after me, my contract be a starting point for those guys," Miller said. "Came into the league trying to help people out who played before me and after me, but at the end of the day, it's my contract with the Denver Broncos. It's bigger than me, bigger than this -- issue is leaguewide, NFL vs. other pro sports. Huge difference."

Miller, the MVP of Super Bowl 50, received the Broncos' exclusive franchise tag on March 1. Unless Miller and Denver can reach an agreement on a long-term deal by July 15, Miller will make the average of the top five salaries at his position for this year. And because it's an exclusive tag, Miller will be prohibited from talking to any other teams.

One of the league's best impact pass-rushers, Miller had 2.5 sacks and two forced fumbles as the Broncos beat the Carolina Panthers for the championship. He also had 2.5 sacks and an interception in the Broncos' win over the  New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game.

Miller had 11 sacks, 35 tackles and four forced fumbles en route to his fourth Pro Bowl selection in 2015. He has 60 career regular-season sacks.

Information from ESPN's Adam Schefter and Jeff Legwold was used in this report.