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Suspension could cost Broncos Miller more than $2 million

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The Canadian Press
9/9/2013 9:28:05 AM
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ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Von Miller's six-game suspension could end up costing him more than $2 million.

He'll lose about $800,000 in salary and approximately $1.2 million more in the prorated portion of his signing bonus that he'll have to forfeit for violating the league's substance-abuse policy, according to the league's collective bargaining agreement.

However, that second figure could change based on provisions of a confidential settlement Miller's defence team reached with the NFL last month when Denver's All-Pro linebacker was suspended for the first six games without pay.

Both NFL spokesman Michael Signora and Miller's agent, Joby Branion, said they couldn't discuss Miller's case.

"There's a confidential settlement agreement that Von intends to abide by and I'm sure the league intends to abide by," Branion told The Associated Press. "We can't discuss any terms of that agreement other than the obvious, which is the six-game suspension."

The league's collective bargaining agreement states that players suspended for drug or steroid violations "shall be required to forfeit any Forfeitable Salary Allocations on a proportionate weekly basis."

Although the CBA states that player contracts "may not contain individually negotiated provisions for forfeiture relating to violations of the Policy on Anabolic Steroids and Related Substances or the NFL Policy and Program on Substances of Abuse, or for failing any drug test," it does not explicitly bar negotiated settlements after the fact.

Miller's four-year, $21 million contract that he signed as the second overall pick of the 2011 draft included a $13.77 million signing bonus.

ESPN reported the Broncos will recoup six weeks of prorated signing bonus money by withholding it from his paychecks once he's reinstated next month. The network also reported that Miller met with players union lawyers in Washington, D.C., on Friday to go over terms of his settlement with the league and that Miller's defence team argues the return of bonus money isn't included in that settlement.

Miller isn't allowed to speak with the media at the team's headquarters during his suspension, and he has politely declined all interview requests since the ban was handed down last month. He's permitted to attend team meetings and weightlifting sessions during his suspension and he was in the locker room talking with teammates during the media access period Monday.

The NFL's Defensive Rookie of the Year in 2011, Miller had 30 sacks in his first two NFL seasons, including a franchise record 18 1/2 last year. His return is slated for Oct. 20, when the Broncos play at Indianapolis.

Von Miller (Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

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(Photo: Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
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