The Denver Broncos might be without All-Pro linebacker Von Miller longer than his initially reported four-game suspension.
The league now is discussing a six-game suspension, a union source told NFL.com's Albert Breer on Monday. A possible resolution is "highly unlikely" Monday, another source told NFL.com's Ian Rapoport.
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Although both parties are discussing the terms of the suspension, Miller is not expected to agree to a compromise because it would counter his insistence that he has not violated league policy, Rapoport added. An appeal hearing has not yet been scheduled.
ESPN was the first to report on the likelihood of an extended suspension.
Breer reports, according to two sources, that a diluted sample caused the most recent violation of the NFL's substance-abuse policy. The case is a complicated one.
From Breer's report: "Thanks to those unusual circumstances, Miller's most recent misstep could be viewed as a second or third violation of the policy. The NFL could've positioned itself to levy an eight- or even a 16-game suspension in this case, but talks began before things got to that stage, once Miller learned, according to a source, that he was 'in a little more trouble than expected.' Miller was believed to have some leverage early on, due to a breach of confidentiality.
"The parties agreed to postpone the appeal hearing, initially scheduled for Aug. 15, in order to negotiate Miller's punishment. There have since been settlement talks, with a six-game suspension recently coming up as a possible solution. Miller's side, according to a second source, had been trying to negotiate the suspension down to four games, which was what the original penalty was expected to be. The hope remains that the appeal hearing won't be necessary, and that the parties can hammer out an agreement. If there's no independent resolution, the appeal hearing would be the next step."
With Elvis Dumervil on the Baltimore Ravens, Derek Wolfe sidelined by a scary neck injury and Miller out for at least the first month of the season, the Broncos have major questions in their front seven. As long as the Broncos can keep the rest of the AFC West at bay through Halloween, Miller's return will provide a major boost in the second half of the season.