Michael Irvin: Von Miller Deserves To Be Highest Paid Defensive Player

Three-time Super Bowl winner Michael Irvin dropped by CBS Sports Radio on Wednesday to discuss numerous hot-button NFL issues, including Tom Brady.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan denied Brady’s appeal of a four-game suspension stemming from his actions in Deflategate. Thus, after 18 months, this saga – potentially – has come to an end.

Thoughts?

“Well, my first reaction is, ‘Wow, what a process that we’ve gone through to watch this whole thing play out,’” Irvin said on The Doug Gottlieb Show, “but I’m also on record saying this is an incredible mark on Tom’s career. All that the guy has done – from where Tom was drafted to what Tom has accomplished, it’s a bad mark that I don’t think should be on there for what we’re talking about when I look at what went down in that game with the footballs. . . . Tom is an overcomer. He’s overcome and changed the narrative as most people thought it would be when he got drafted, and I’m sure he’ll attack this situation in some way that, in the end, it will not (tarnish who) he is. He’s just that kind of a person.”

As of now, Brady will miss games at Arizona, against Miami, against Houston and at Buffalo in Week 1 through 4, respectively. Irvin, however, believes the Patriots will “absolutely” be able to overcome Brady’s absence and win the AFC East for the 13th time in 14 seasons.

Sticking in the AFC, Von Miller and the Denver Broncos remain at a standstill. Miller, the Super Bowl 50 MVP, wants more than the $14.1 million that he would receive under the franchise tag and is threatening to sit out the 2016 season if the Broncos do not sign him to a long-term deal.

“It’s just business, man,” Irvin said. “This is what it is. This is going to happen every year. Unless you are a quarterback, this is part of the business. The deal is never getting done until the shoe falls off Cinderella. That’s just the way we do it.”

Irvin won’t pity Miller too much if he makes $14.1 million next season, but he knows Miller’s stance goes beyond himself.

“To say that $14 million is a small amount of money – 10, 15 years earlier, eight years earlier, (players) were not making anywhere near that,” Irvin said. “But this is what you had to do to move that needle. Von Miller is doing is what he believes he has to (do to) move the needle again. We’re all doing what we’re supposed to do, I believe, in that situation to move the needle and keep getting the number up. Von Miller deserves to be the highest-paid defensive player in the league. . . . Von Miller ended his contract with a Super Bowl ring. He should break the bank. Go get quarterback money and reset the room for defensive ends. That’s business. I hope he does it.”

Irvin also addressed comments he made last week saying he would take Luke Kuechly over J.J. Watt, who has been named NFL Defensive Player of the Year three times. Irvin was harshly criticized on social media for that stance, even though Kuechly was named Defensive Player of the Year in 2013. Plus, if you look at the Texans’ last two seasons, you see 9-7 and 9-7.

“J.J. Watt has done a phenomenal, phenomenal job individually, but unfortunately we play a team sport,” Irvin said. “I would take Luke Kuechly even though he may be a little less physically gifted. He’s more of a gatherer and gathers people and gathers his defense and puts them in place. That guy will tell you he knows 40 percent of the plays that are being called on offense. I think Luke Kuechly would be a more effective player for me to start my organization with.”

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