Less than two months before George Paton must decide whether or not to divorce from Von Miller, the new Denver Broncos general manager is still in fact-finding mode on the future Hall-of-Fame pass-rusher and the open criminal investigation that besieged him.
“I know how much Von means to this football team and to the community," Paton told 9News' Mike Klis on Tuesday following his introductory Broncos Zoom conference. "We’re still gathering information. I’m not totally caught up on that. But Von’s an incredible player, an incredible pillar in the community and we just need to gather more information before we comment."
Details are scarce regarding the investigation, which Parker Police confirmed remains active. A rumor surfaced alleging domestic violence possibly relating to his ex-fiancee Megan Denise, who had publicly shared disturbing text messages purportedly received from Miller.
Denise, after news of the probe surfaced, released a lengthy statement disputing speculation of physical violence in their relationship.
“In light of recent media reports regarding my relationship with Von, I feel that I need to address a couple of things. First and foremost, at no point in our relationship was there any type of physical abuse or violence by Von, whatsoever,” she wrote on Instagram. “For anyone to say otherwise, or to speculate such, is wrong.
“With regards to my social media posts, a part was misconstrued and taken out of context. I do regret making a private situation public, and in doing so, bringing unwanted attention to both Von and myself. Von and I are excited to be welcoming our baby into the world, and are committed to raising our child with love and compassion, together as a family.”
That is one component Paton must consider with Miller, who missed the entire 2020 season due to a dislocated peroneal tendon in his ankle. Another is his contract status. The 32-year-old (in March) is signed through 2021; he's scheduled to earn $17.5 million in base salary and count $22.225 million against the team's salary cap.
The Broncos, though, wield a club option for next season, and there are rumblings that Paton — especially in the wake of this off-field incident — could look to cut or trade the Super Bowl 50 MVP. The option must be exercised by March 9, the first day of the new league year.
Paton was not asked directly about Miller, nor impending free agent safety Justin Simmons, during Tuesday's presser. But John Elway was, and the outgoing czar indicated those two players are atop his successor's to-do list.
“George is going to do his work on both of those situations," Elway said. "He has to get acclimated to the new position and the new job and get to know everybody. There’s a lot of different things that are going to go on. Von and Justin are two of the bigger things he’s going to have to address. When I moved up, I planned on being a sounding board for him, and any information I can give him to help him make a better decision, I’m going to do. That’s kind of my role and the role I’m looking forward to, especially with knowing everybody in the building and the team in order to help George and support him in any way I can.”