Broncos place exclusive franchise tag on Von Miller

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Super Bowl MVP Von Miller of the Broncos celebrates with the Vince Lombardi Trophy after winning Super Bowl 50 at Levi's Stadium on Feb. 7, 2016 in Santa Clara, Calif. (Photo: Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The Broncos placed the exclusive franchise tag on linebacker Von Miller ahead of Tuesday’s 2 p.m. deadline, ensuring he will be with the team in 2016.

The move was not a surprise, though both sides had been working on reaching a long-term deal. They have until July 15 to work out a longer deal.

But because the tag was used on Miller, it clears the way for quarterback Brock Osweiler, defensive lineman Malik Jackson and linebacker Danny Trevathan to hit the open market when free agency begins March 9.

Miller becomes the first player since New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees in 2012 to receive the exclusive tag designation. It prevents other teams from signing Miller and means his salary can be no less than the average of the top five salaries at his position.

“Designating Von as our franchise player gives us the time to continue working toward a long-term agreement,” Executive Vice President of Football Operations and General Manager John Elway said. “We’ve had productive talks with Von’s representation, and we’ll continue those discussions with the goal of making sure Von remains a Bronco well into the future.”

Miller, the Super Bowl 50 MVP, will make a guaranteed $14 million if a longer deal isn’t reached by July. Last season, receiver Demaryius Thomas received the franchise tag and sat out offseason workouts before signing a long-term deal in the summer.

On Monday night on NFL Network, Miller said he wants to be a “Bronco for life.” He has played five seasons with the Broncos, making the Pro Bowl four times. He has 60 sacks in his Broncos career.

“I have never been franchised before so I can’t really say, ‘Hey I don’t want to be franchised. I don’t want to do this.’ I can tell you what: I want to be with the Denver Broncos,” Miller said. “I want to be with Derek Wolfe, Chris Harris, all those guys, DT (Demaryius Thomas). I want to be with those guys my whole career, and whatever it takes to get it done I am down for.”

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