The Denver Broncos picked up a fifth-year option on Von Miller, meaning his free agency originally slated for 2015 is pushed back a year.
Waiting nearly until Sunday’s deadline, the Broncos made the decision Thursday — the absolute right decision for the team.
Since he was selected No. 2 in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft, Miller has impacted the Broncos. He was selected to the Pro Bowl during his rookie season and was named AP Defensive Rookie of the Year. During the 2012 season, Miller received another invitation to the Pro Bowl and placed second in votes for Defensive Player of the Year. He broke a Broncos single-season record with 18.5 total sacks.
2013, however, proved to be a stumbling block for Miller. In July, Miller was suspended for six regular season games for violating NFL substance-abuse policies. He returned in October and became a chief player again for the team until his season-ending ACL injury in December.
Despite his rough 2013, Miller is proving to become even better, and the Broncos were correct to extend his contract.
Many athletes continuously get in trouble for actions and clearly do not learn from their mistakes. Miller was in this group for some time, but it is clear now, however, that Miller has developed both on and off the field and has learned from his mistakes.
Miller’s charity, Von’s Vision, established in 2013, has taken off. The charity has the mission of providing corrective eyewear to low-income children throughout the Denver Metro area. The charity has the ultimate goal of providing more than 50,000 children with eye exams and eyewear by the end of 2016.
To many, it’s important for players to be role models, and Von’s Vision has helped Miller earn respect again among fans. It is clear he is not just thinking about himself and is selflessly giving back to his team’s community.
On the field, Miller’s absence last season clearly weakened the defense, and the defense was much better upon his return. Many even believe the Broncos would not have been blown out in the Super Bowl if Miller had not been injured.
It is clear the Broncos believe Miller can become the player he was during his first two seasons, and the team shows faith in his growth.
Miller hopes to become even better.
“You come back and be the same guy it’s like you go ‘it’s the same Von again’ and I got to be better,” Miller said last month.
If Miller does return as a top linebacker, opposing offenses will be petrified of the Broncos defense next season and now, luckily, at least another season following.
With Miller, the Broncos defense will be stronger, better and more prepared. The team was absolutely correct in extending his contract, and it’s paving the way to signing a long-term deal with him.
Last season’s Von Miller will become a distant memory. He has proven his growth both on and off the field, and he will continue to grow and could easily eventually become a legend.
Now the question is: How the team can keep Demaryius Thomas and Julius Thomas when they hit free agency next year?
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