Von Miller will go down as arguably the greatest defensive player in Broncos history. That said, it’s time for Broncos fans to take in one last season of the pass-rush specialist.
Miller is pretty much responsible for brining the city of Denver a third Lombardi Trophy after raising havoc in Super Bowl 50. Miller would finish that game with 2.5 sacks, which included two strip sacks on the league’s MVP, Cam Newton. The elite pass rusher was on top of the world as the Super Bowl 50 MVP.
Now, it’s time to come to the realization that the 2020 season could be his final rodeo with the Broncos.
The three-time first-team All-Pro is 31 years old and finished last season with a total of only eight sacks. That is the lowest output Miller has had in his career when starting at least 15 games in a single season.
In a defensive scheme where Miller is supposed to excel, the eight-time Pro Bowler took a decline. It is fair to say that Miller didn’t have Bradley Chubb on the other side of the line rushing the quarterback, but in 2017, Miller finished the season with double-digit sack numbers with Shane Ray and Shaquille Barrett on the other side still trying to prove themselves.
Broncos head coach Vic Fangio mentioned multiple times last season the Miller had to play better. That was more than just a motivational tactic; it was the truth.
After the 2020 season, the Broncos will have a club option that will allow them to keep Miller for the 2021 season. If Denver decides to not pick up the option, the Broncos would clear up $18 million in cap space. According to spotrac.com, releasing Von would cost Denver only $4.2 million in dead cap money. Miller also doesn’t have anymore guaranteed money left on his contract in 2021.
Since that Super Bowl 50 victory, the Broncos haven’t made it back to the playoffs. Having average, at best, quarterback play and having an elite pass rusher is not the formula to win in the NFL. In a smart business move, the Broncos should have tried to trade Miller before the 2019 NFL Draft to try and gather an additional first round pick, but the Broncos failed to do so.
With the Broncos in a rebuild, it wouldn’t make much sense to keep Von Miller around towards the end of his career. Denver needs to save the money and clear up the cap space to possibly pay their future star QB in Drew Lock, as well as find other missing pieces to improve this team.
Broncos Country doesn’t want to hear this, but the chances of great players staying with one franchise doesn’t always happen. We’ve seen Peyton Manning, DeMarcus Ware and even Tom Brady move onto different teams. It happens.
Broncos fans will always love Von Miller as a class act on and off the field. No. 58 might have his jersey retired and go into the team’s Ring of Fame one day. Miller will also head to Canton five years after he retires and be known as one of the greatest pass rushers in NFL history.
All great things must come to an end. But for one last season, Broncos Country must take it in and realize this will more than likely be Von Miller’s final year with the Broncos.
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