The Buffalo Bills Paid Way Too Much for Von Miller
Normally, signing a 32-year-old player, on the backside of their career to a six-year contract would be considered ludicrous. But, it's not every day that the player being signed happens to be All-Pro Linebacker Von Miller.
Miller has been one of the most feared edge rushers in the National Football League since he was drafted second overall by the Denver Broncos in 2011. In his 11 year career, he has been an eight-time Pro Bowl selection, receiving first-team All-Pro honors three times and second-team All-Pro honors four times. He finally won that ever-elusive Super Bowl ring last season as a member of the Los Angeles Rams.
With that most impressive resume, Miller signed with the Buffalo Bills earlier this week on a six-year, $120M deal. The question is, could that deal come back to haunt the Bills down the road?
Why shell out a 6-year contract to Miller, who will be 39 years old, if he reaches the end of his deal? The simple answer, this was the all-in moment for the Bills. Having gotten so close to the Super Bowl the last two seasons, this move can be potentially viewed as the one that pushes them over the top. If in the end, the team wins a Super Bowl with Miller, the contract will have paid off in a way that will make Bills Mafia forever grateful.
But, the contract has the potential to hang around the team's neck like a financial albatross for years to come.
Another 32-year-old free agent Edge Rusher racked up 10.5 sacks, 41 tackles, 12 tackles for loss, and six forced fumbles earning his fourth Pro-Bowl nod in the process last season, numbers that are very comparable to Millers. That player...Chandler Jones. He was signed by the free-spending Las Vegas Raiders to a 3 year $51 million dollar contract. It is a much more reasonable deal for a 32-year-old player, and for the team at $17 million a season. It's also a deal that won't be paying out until the year 2028. The Raiders then used that financial flexibility to sign newly acquired Davante Adams to a five-year, $141.25 million contract.
Don't get me wrong. Von Miller is still a stud and could be the missing piece that the Bills have been looking for. But, if the team falls short of the ultimate goal, a Super Bowl Championship, the contract will look very bad, and could potentially financially handcuff the team for years to come.