The final two years of the contract are option seasons. Denver has until the final day of the prior League year to pick up each option season. If the options are exercised Miller will have $6 million and $7 million of his 2020 and 2021 salaries become guaranteed.
As we’ve discussed before, this has become modus operandi for the Broncos in negotiating major extensions. Such team options also exist on the extended contracts of Demaryius Thomas, Derek Wolfe, and Brandon Marshall. The purpose of a team option like this is to have the contract void instead terminated should the Broncos wish to part ways at that time. Such contract voids allow the player to qualify for the compensatory pick formula, of which the Patriots took heavy advantage of for their 2016 comp pick slate. The Ravens also set up a similar option on Mike Wallace this offseason. As long as this loophole in the formula exists, I expect the Broncos, Ravens, and Patriots to continue to exploit it, and other teams may soon follow suit.