Miller has missed five games this year, and he will miss one more thanks to his six-game suspension. He took recreational drugs, which resulted in a four-game suspension, and he tried to cover it up, adding two games.
In addition, he has gotten in hot water for other off-field violations, including failing to show up for a scheduled court appearance. His third offseason was horrible, and his third season hasn't gotten off to a good start.
Unfortunately for the Broncos, if Miller doesn't clean up his act, future seasons could bring bad times as well.
It would be a real shame if that happened, as Miller is one of the best players in the NFL. He accumulated 18.5 sacks last year, and he appeared to be able to top that incredible mark this year (before his suspension). He's one who can truly do it all.
And because of that, the Broncos will likely lock him up for a long time.
However, they have other options. There have been talented players who have failed to become stars due to off-the-field issues, and if Miller veers off down that path, the Broncos could try to trade him. After all, they would get a huge return for him.
However, that is still unlikely. Miller’s off-field issues shouldn’t damage his short-term or long-term production. In fact, those problems should motivate him to work harder and stay out of trouble. He is losing lots of money and is paying for his mistakes, and he can’t wait to get back on the field. On September 28, he voiced his desire to return on Twitter.
15 days left, one day at a time
— Von Miller (@Millerlite40) September 28, 2013
So if we don't see an angry, fired-up Miller on October 20 (when he will make his season debut) and for the rest of the season, you should be surprised.
And if we don’t see amazing production from Miller for the rest of the year and in the future, you should be surprised.
Miller knows his enormous potential, and he knows not to repeat his costly off-the-field mistakes. He’s lucky to have the chance to put everything behind him and quiet his critics on the field, and I’m confident he will take full advantage of it.
However, if he doesn't, he could be shipped out of Denver.
Because of his success, youth and potential, Miller would command a plethora of draft picks and talent in a trade. The Broncos could use him as ammunition to grab another star with a high draft pick, or they could use him to patch up holes with veterans.
Or, if backup quarterback Brock Osweiler doesn't pan out, Denver could use Miller to draft 37-year-old quarterback Peyton Manning's successor.
There are some trade scenarios that seem to make sense, and they could come into play if many things go wrong this year. However, Miller is a franchise player, and franchise players are rarely traded. In the NFL, that is especially true.
Franchise players usually stay with one team for the majority or entirety of their career, and the same thing will likely happen with Miller. Even though Denver has won its games by substantial margins, it has been plagued by Miiller's absence. Opposing quarterbacks have put up stellar numbers against Denver, and the lack of a quality pass rush is to blame.
In Week 5, Tony Romo threw for 506 yards. Denver’s pass rush picked up four sacks, but those numbers were deceiving. Denver gave up 48 points, and it was clear that it missed Miller greatly. Somehow, Denver managed to win, but it proved that Miller is needed.
In other words, it would be very surprising if Denver traded its invaluable pass-rusher.
When Miller returns, he will positively impact Denver's defense in multiple facets. The Broncos will undoubtedly reap the benefits of his play, and consequently, they will likely throw lots of cash at him in an attempt to keep him in orange and blue for years to come.
Denver could trade him if his legal issues recur, but Miller is a once-in-a-lifetime talent. The Broncos are a tremendous all-around team with a paucity of needs, so stockpiling picks or talent in a trade wouldn't go a long way in helping them. It would allow the Broncos to make small upgrades at some positions while losing critical production at a critical position.
So if Miller can put his legal issues behind him, the Broncos would sign him to a long-term deal and bask in the glory of his inevitable on-field success.