"We have a three-year plan and a four-year plan, and we try to look into the future to see where we are in order to budget everybody, to keep all of our great football players," Broncos VP John Elway said Wednesday, via the Denver Post. "D.T. was the first step. We will have a plan for Von next year as well as with other players."
Miller has been one of the best pure pass rushers and underrated run stoppers in the NFL since he entered the league. You could argue that only J.J. Watt has more pure talent of any defender in the entire league. But he also missed a season with a torn ACL and was suspended six games last season for violating the league's drug policy. He was also once arrested for failing to appear to court after multiple offenses of driving without a license.
Based on pure talent, Miller is worth the kind of money that Kansas City just gave to Justin Houston. Miller has shown virtually no signs of slowing down after his knee injury, and quietly put together a monster season in 2014. (15 sacks, 12 QB hits, 47 quarterback hurries, according to ProFootballFocus.)
With Manning heading off into the sunset, Miller essentially has a chance to be Denver's "face of the franchise." Will Elway be comfortable giving a truckload of fully guaranteed money to someone only one failed test away from a year suspension?
Balancing Miller's suspension with his outstanding talent will be Elway's challenge. It's a recipe for a franchise tag tender and a long, painful negotiation next offseason.