John Elway spoke with Von Miller earlier this week about jump-starting contract talks, and that's exactly what has happened in recent days. In fact, according to KUSA's Mike Klis, the Broncos have sweetened their offer twice in the last 24 hours.
Last month, the two sides agreed on a six-year, $114.5 million framework that would make Miller the NFL's highest-paid defensive player, but differences over guaranteed money brought talks to a standstill. But with the July 15 deadline for teams to sign franchised players looming (if there is no new long-term deal by that date, negotiations are on hold until after the 2016 season), the Broncos and Miller began working towards a solution.
More from Klis:
A potential breakthrough in negotiations occurred when the Broncos moved the full guarantee mechanism of their proposed $19 million salary to Miller in 2018 -- the third year of their six-year offer -- up a year to March of 2017. The ''early trigger'' all but fully guarantees the third year because with the second year already fully guaranteed, the chances are almost nil the Broncos would release Miller prior to the second year of his deal.
Miller's agent presented a counterproposal on Friday morning, the Broncos countered by Friday afternoon and the plan was for the two sides to speak again on Saturday.
Earlier this week, former agent Joel Corry, writing for CBSSports.com, provided his own road map for Miller and the Broncos to find common ground.
The Broncos need to recognize Miller's contract should be structured similar to Fletcher Cox's recent six-year, $102.6 million extension with the Philadelphia Eagles containing a non-quarterback record $63.299 million in guarantees. In Cox's deal, $36.299 million is fully guaranteed. $55.549 million of Cox's deal will be fully guaranteed early next March. Having Miller's 2018 guarantee in his third contract year vest on a comparable time frame will give him $58 million fully guaranteed by next February or early March. This aspect of the deal will be more important to Miller than topping Cox's $63.299 million of overall guarantees.
As Corry noted in early June, the expectation was that the two sides would return to the negotiating table as the July 15 deadline loomed.
Put another way: Miller will almost certainly have a shiny new contract in place at some point in the coming days.