ORLANDO, FLA. — The Broncos are likely to pick up the fifth-year team option on the contract of linebacker Von Miller.
Exercising the fifth-year option would keep the pass-rushing strongside linebacker with the club — and away from free agency — through the 2015 season.
The Broncos must exercise the option by May 3. Miller will make $3.239 million in 2014. As a top-10 pick in the 2011 draft, the fifth-year option would entitle Miller to a transition tag salary of $9.754 million in 2015. The option year is guaranteed against injury until the first day of the season, at which point it becomes fully guaranteed.
The fifth-year option for first-round picks was added to the collective bargaining agreement that was negotiated in 2011.
In Miller's case, there is benefit to both parties. For the Broncos, they can wait to see how well Miller bounces back from his disappointing 2013 season before committing to a long-term investment. Miller was suspended from the first six games this past season after he violated the league's drug policy, then missed the final four games, including three in the postseason, after tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee on Dec. 22 at Houston.
The benefit for Miller is he now has two seasons to fully recover from his ACL injury and prove his off-field transgressions are behind him before hitting the free-agent market in 2016.