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John Elway still hopeful of long-term deal with Von Miller

ENGLEWOOD, Colo. - Denver Broncos executive vice president of football operations/general manager John Elway said Thursday he still hopes to secure a long-term deal with Super Bowl 50 MVP Von Miller.

Miller, who the Broncos have designated as the team's franchise player, has not signed the one-year, exclusive rights, franchise player tender and has not attended the team's offseason program.

The Broncos face a July 15 deadline -- by 2 p.m. MT -- to get a long-term deal done before the 2016 season, or Miller would have to play on the one-year tender offer. Elway was asked Thursday whether negotiations would go all the way to the deadline, as the last two position players who had the franchise player tag for the Broncos, Ryan Clady and Demaryius Thomas, each signed long-term deals just hours before the deadline.

"I hope not, but we'll see,'' Elway said in his predraft media gathering. "I think it's not nearly as bad as people have it portrayed as being out there. I know what I think of Von Miller, and I know what this organization thinks of Von Miller. He's very important to us, and we're going to work our tails off to try and get something done with him.''

Elway said the Broncos have made one formal contract offer to Miller and Miller's representatives have made one formal counterproposal. The Broncos' offer is known to be a deal that averaged $18 million a year, while it's believed Miller and his representatives want something more than the deal Ndamukong Suh received from the Miami Dolphins that averages just more than $19 million per year with guaranteed money at $60 million.

Asked what he thought about the distance between the Broncos' offer and the counterproposal from Miller and his representatives, Elway said: "You would like to be a little bit closer, but that's where you start. We'll continue to work on it and hopefully be able to get something done ... there will be more conversations.''

Miller was named Super Bowl MVP with 2.5 sacks and two forced fumbles, including one in the first quarter that resulted in the Broncos scoring a defensive touchdown after he had ripped the ball free from Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton. Miller also had 2.5 sacks and an interception in the Broncos' win over the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game.

For his part Miller has repeatedly said he expected negotiations to be "peaceful'' and that he expected a long-term contract to be worked out.