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Von Miller is facing the most-critical season of his career

(Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)

Von Miller has never had more to prove in his career than right now. Heading into the 2020 season, at the age of 31, there are more and more doubts about Miller’s ability to be the elite edge rusher he has been since entering the league in 2011.

Most recently, former NFL left tackle Joe Thomas released his top 10 edge rushers. He had Miller at No. 10. Did you ever think you would see a list of edge rushers with Miller dead last?

This is a man who was the second overall pick, has been a Super Bowl MVP, and eight-time Pro Bowler and a seven-time All-Pro selection. Miller has always lived up to high expectations, and for the first time in his career, there is serious doubt regarding his abilities.

Early in Miller’s career, he ran into some issues. He suffered an injury and was suspended by the league for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy, and Broncos Country questioned how long he‘d wear the orange and blue. However, no one was questioning his talent or ability to play.

Even when there were doubts about Von early in his career, his best days were in front of him. Now, his best days are behind him and he needs to prove he can still be a difference maker on the defensive side of the ball.

Clearly, 2019 was a down year for Von. He had a career low with eight sacks, suffered an injury and lost Bradley Chubb in Week 4. His head coach regularly singled him out in press conferences for not playing up to his standards, and there were weeks he made little impact on the game. We all remember Jacoby Brissett breaking his tackle to lead the Colts on a game0winning drive in Week 8.

There has never been more motivation for Von Miller to have a monster year. His coach is lukewarm on him. Joe Thomas thinks he is the 10th-best edge rusher in the league. He’s coming off a career low in sacks. And he’s in his 30s.

This is a crucial year for Von Miller. With his contract close to ending, if he doesn’t deliver a great season in 2020, he will be wearing a different uniform in 2021.