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Von Miller (58) of the Denver Broncos watches the action from the sidelines against the Oakland Raiders during the second half of the Raiders' 24-16 win on Monday, September 9, 2019. (Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post)
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As painful as it’d be, it’s time for the Broncos to trade Von Miller

(Photo by AAron Ontiveroz/The Denver Post)

The Broncos as a franchise are in a mess. It’s time to rebuild. And the best way to do that is to trade Von Miller.

Denver has a ton of holes, which come from a lack of depth on this roster. The best way to improve this team is through the draft and free agency.

The Broncos need to add draft picks, especially in the first round. And the only player that can bring those draft picks back is Miller.

Broncos fans are not going to be happy to hear this, but they need to follow the template of the Raiders right now. Prior to last season, Oakland moved on from star pass rusher Khalil Mack, and received two first-round picks in return from the Bears.

The Broncos are about four to five years away from contending for another Super Bowl, there’s no point of wasting the Hall of Fame career of Miller and not getting anything in return for him. It’s kind of like the same concept the Rockies rolled with when they traded Troy Tulowitzki to Toronto for a group of pitchers. In this case, the Broncos can cash in on this trade.

With Denver having left tackle Garett Bolles struggling year after year, the Broncos will be in the market for a new left tackle in 2020. The free agency class will not be good because most teams will not allow major offensive lineman to hit the open market.

The best chance for Denver to replace Bolles is through the draft in April. With Denver playing as bad as they are and potentially going to be 0-3 to start the season, the Broncos could end up with one of the top-five picks in the NFL Draft.

Who could Denver be looking at? Andrew Thomas from Georgia is considered one of if not the best offensive lineman in all of college football and has a chance to be available for Denver. Trey Adams of Washington, Tristan Wirfs of Iowa and Calvin Throckmorton are all potential first-round candidates, as well.

As we wait the development of Drew Lock and the possibility of the Broncos moving on from Joe Flacco, Denver is also in a situation where they could use an additional first-round pick to draft one of the top quarterbacks, like Jake Fromm.

If Denver sees the potential from Lock, they could go ahead and name him the starter for next season and use that second first-round pick for another playmaker on offense or find head coach Vic Fangio an elite middle linebacker. Denver could also sign a linebacker in free agency if they free up some money for next season.

Miller currently has a $25.1 million cap hit this season, which is also limiting the Broncos in cap space. In 2020, Miller will have a $25.6 million cap hit, followed by a little more than $22 million in 2021.

Players like Chris Harris Jr., Emmanuel Sanders, Derek Wolfe, Shelby Harris, Justin Simmons, Will Parks and Connor McGovern all have expiring contracts after this season. If the Broncos could clear up some cap space, it would help the front office bring some of the young talent back. They could also retain Harris, who is looking for his big contract.

With roughing-the-passer penalties in the NFL this season, it makes you wonder if it’s worth keeping pass rushers and just spending the money and building in the secondary. Harris said in the offseason that he wants $15 million per season and Denver might have to pay him that if they want to keep him in the Mile High City. The Broncos will have to decide if they could use that extra money to pay Harris or keep it for Miller.

The best option for the Broncos organization to get out of the hole that they’re stuck in right now is to trade Von Miller. They could acquire a least one first-round pick at the minimum, plus take the money they will free up and spread it around in free agency.

The Broncos could turn this franchise around in two years instead of five if they execute this game plan correctly.