It's still Miller Time in Denver.
Broncos linebacker Von Miller will return for an 11th season after the team picked up its club option Tuesday, according to reports – one of the first key decisions of new general manager George Paton's tenure. The team would have shaved $18 million off its salary cap by parting with the eight-time Pro Bowler.
Instead, the Broncos have already guaranteed $7 million of his salary, a decision they had to make by Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET, when the NFL's new league year officially kicks off. Miller will almost surely play out the final season of a six-year $114 million pact that took effect following his MVP performance in Super Bowl 50 – which also happens to be the last time Denver appeared in a playoff game.
Miller, a three-time All-Pro, did not play in 2020 after injuring an ankle tendon last September, just days before the season began.
OLB Von Miller was the second overall pick of the 2011 NFL draft. (Photo: Isaiah J. Downing/USA TODAY Sports, file)
He will turn 32 on March 26.
Miller had also been under a recent, but undisclosed, police investigation in Colorado but was not charged.
"Obviously, it’s a serious situation, but we want to let it play out before we comment on that," Paton said earlier this month.
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Long regarded as one of the most dangerous pass rushers in the NFL, Miller has played in 135 regular-season games and collected 106 sacks – making him the league's active leader in that category, five ahead of 2011 draftmate J.J. Watt, who recently signed with the Arizona Cardinals.
Listed at 6-3 and 250 pounds, Miller has spent most of his career working the edges for 3-4 defensive schemes, most recently head coach Vic Fangio's.
The Broncos were modestly active Monday, Paton's first pulling the free agency levers for the franchise. The team decided not to pick up safety Kareem Jackson's option but did re-sign defensive lineman Shelby Harris to a three-year, $27 million deal and agreed to a three-year, $30 million contract with cornerback Ronald Darby, who played in Washington last season.
Denver also franchised Pro Bowl safety Justin Simmons for the second consecutive offseason.
Follow USA TODAY Sports' Nate Davis on Twitter @ByNateDavis.
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