John Elway may have to wait a while to express his gratitude at an NFL Alumni event, but he can thank a whole bunch of current NFL players for giving him another card to play in the Von Miller contract negotiations.

For the first time since 2013, the Denver Broncos will not boast a top-10 player in the NFL – at least not according to NFL players. On Wednesday night Miller was announced as the No. 15 player on NFL Network’s “Top 100 Players for 2016” list, as chosen by other NFL players, all but assuring that the Broncos are done appearing on the list and ranking Miller below at least four other defensive players.

The NFL Network may be boasting about Miller’s Super Bowl MVP status, but his teammates are scratching their heads about one of the most disruptive players in the league last year not landing inside the top 10.

Miller would have had a clean sweep on MVPs if they gave one out for the AFC Championship Game, as No. 58 was hands down the best player on the field in both of those dominant performances by the Denver defense. Sadly, the voting is done before the end of the regular season, so Miller’s outstanding postseason did not factor into his peers’ decision-making.

The Broncos PR department tried to play it cool, but based on this tweet its seemed clear they weren’t too thrilled with Miller falling outside the top 10.

For three straight years Denver could claim a top-5 player in the form of Peyton Manning, who ranked second, first and fifth from 2013 through 2015, respectively.

Miller did take a huge leap upwards, climbing 18 slots from No. 33 last year, but it’s a surprising ranking considering just how dominant the Denver defense was all season and the constant credit Miller received for being the driving force for the Denver D’s greatness.

Miller is, of course, in a very public standoff with John Elway and the Broncos, asking for a contract that would make him the highest-paid defensive player of all time. Miller is seeking a six-figure deal with more than $55 million guaranteed.

Yet there are already three defensive players ahead of him on the list in the form of Aaron Donald (No. 14, DT, Los Angeles), Khalil Mack (No. 13, DE, Oakland) and Josh Norman (No. 11, CB, Washington). JJ Watt, last year’s No. 1 and the only defensive player inside the top-10 on last year’s list, has still yet to appear on this year’s list.

Norman, meanwhile, signed a five-year deal, $75 million with Washington this offseason after Carolina released him when they could not come to terms on a long-term deal. Norman will make $36.5 million guaranteed. While there is certainly a premium on pass rushers, as we’ve seen with Fletcher Cox (No. 49, incidentally), Elway can at least point to Norman’s deal (and the three other d-linemen ahead of Miller) as evidence that guaranteed money north of $55 million is out of range.

Miller had been landing heavy blows in the PR war with the Broncos, but this latest hit comes from the very guys who take the field against him. Yes, it’s a subjective and (in many ways meaningless) poll that has no direct influence on what happens on the field, but when it comes to these contract negotiations both sides are looking for any advantage they can get.

Miller and his agent have every right to leverage the millions of times the words “Denver Broncos Super Bowl MVP…” have been uttered on radio and tv and in print and online since February. Just like Elway now has every right to use this player vote to try and shave a few bucks off the deal.