In the history of bad ideas, this seems like one that would rank near the top of the list; it feels like a plan that is destined for disaster, sure to result in the types of headlines that no one likes to see. And that’s why it had most Broncos fans cringing this weekend.

On Saturday night, TMZ ran into Johnny Manziel as the quarterback was bouncing from one West Hollywood hotspot to the next, making the rounds in Southern California as he tries to work his way onto an NFL roster. And what the erstwhile star quarterback told the tabloid web site came as a bit of a shock.

“I’m living out here with my guy, Von Miller; I’m living with him right now,” Manziel said. “We’re getting our lives together, bro.”

Miller, of course, is the current face of the Broncos franchise. He’s the reigning Super Bowl MVP, the best player on Denver’s roster and about to become the highest paid defensive player in NFL history. He’s also in the midst of a whirlwind “celebrity tour” that commenced after he led the Broncos to a 24-10 victory in Super Bowl 50, with the latest stop being an engagement on “Dancing with the Stars,” which has the linebacker temporarily relocated to the Los Angeles area.

The thought of Miller spending a lot of time with a wayward soul like Manziel makes anyone who roots for the orange and blue a bit nervous. After all, Johnny Football isn’t exactly a guy who most people would consider a positive influence; in just the past year, he has done a stint in rehab, missed a team flight because he was hungover from a night of partying, been cut by the quarterback-starved Browns because he was such a distraction and found himself in the police blotter after a run-in with his girlfriend. Essentially, Manziel is a complete mess, so much so that his own father has said that the quarterback “won’t live to see his 24th birthday.”

Having someone like that anywhere near any member of a team is scary; having him hanging out with the franchise’s most-important player is downright frightening. Throw in the fact that Miller has had his own off-the-field issues, which included a six-game suspension prior to the 2013 season, and it’s not hard to see why people are concerned; it’s not hard to fathom a scenario in which the Broncos star linebacker follows Manziel down a wayward road.

Of course, that worrisome approach to the news that two of the most famous players in the NFL – albeit for vastly different reasons – were enjoying the L.A. scene together shows zero faith in Miller. It paints the linebacker as a weak, spineless follower, someone who won’t be able to avoid the temptations that Manziel puts in front of him. And there’s no evidence to support that notion.

Yes, the linebacker ran afoul of the league’s substance abuse policy three years ago. But in the time since, he’s developed into a model citizen, in every way imaginable.

First, Miller appears to have cleaned up his act. The recreational activities that once had him one positive test away from being booted out of the league are now a thing of the past, so much so that the Super Bowl MVP was discharged from the NFL’s drug program prior to last season; in essence, the slate was wiped clean after two years of constant testing repeatedly showed that the linebacker was on the straight and narrow.

Second, Miller has shown tremendous maturity during his time in the national spotlight. While enjoying his moment in the sun, he’s done nothing but say and do the right things. Since the final gun sounded at Super Bowl 50, Miller has had one microphone after another shoved into his face; at every turn, the pass-rushing specialist has been humble and classy, deflecting praise onto his teammates, coaches and everyone in the Broncos organization. And while he’s been part of the jet-set crowd, flying from coast to coast for event after event, Miller’s name has failed to appear in a single negative headline for bad behavior.

Perhaps the linebacker has seen how he’s been able to turn his life around, enjoying the fruits that can be gained by doing the right things, and wants to help his former college teammate do the same thing? Maybe, just maybe, Miller wants to do for Manziel what DeMarcus Ware and others have done for him, serving as a mentor to help a talented-but-misguided young man avoid wasting a golden opportunity?

It certainly sounded like that was the case in February, when the MVP appeared on ESPN Radio.

“If you write him off, you’re wrong,” Miller said on the “Mike and Mike” show. “They wrote me off two years ago and look at me, where I’m at today.”

Then, the Broncos star said something that every person who has criticized and belittled needs to hear from a friend when they are down on their luck.

“I just want him to know I’m supporting him no matter what,” Miller added.

Perhaps these efforts are futile. A cynic would suggest that someone with a checkered past trying to straighten out another lost soul is a recipe for disaster. But that doesn’t mean the motives aren’t pure; it also doesn’t mean that the efforts aren’t worthwhile.

There’s no doubt that Manziel has made a ton of mistakes in his life. And it goes without saying that he should pay for his errors, especially when it comes to the allegations of domestic abuse in Texas. But he’s also a 23-year-old kid; people of that age, or any age, shouldn’t be cast aside when they make bad choices.

For a pitchfork-wielding public that has been waiting for the former Heisman Trophy winner to fall, there seems to be some glee in seeing a cocky, arrogant, entitled athlete approach rock bottom. But for his friends, for those who actually care about his wellbeing, the reaction is different; they want to help.

That’s what Miller is currently doing. He’s showing Manziel that there’s a different path; he’s demonstrating that life can still be fun, exciting and full of adventures, even without the things that can lead to a once-promising career going up in flames.

Perhaps that’s an exercise in futility. But to denounce it simply because it might be a foolhardy route for a team’s star player to take is the epitome of selfishness.

Von Miller is simply being a good friend; that should be applauded. Because sometimes in life, football is a distant second on the list of priorities.