(The Sports Xchange) - Denver Broncos outside linebacker and Super Bowl 50 MVP Von Miller became the NFL’s highest-paid defensive player on Friday after agreeing to a six-year, $114.5 million deal.
A record $70 million is guaranteed in the contract, which came hours before the NFL’s deadline for franchise players to sign long term contracts.
The sides came to the final numbers of the pact last month with only the guaranteed money serving as the sticking point.
Miller’s guaranteed money is eclipsed by only that of Indianapolis quarterback Andrew Luck, who will receive $75 million in guarantees in his $140 million contract extension.
“I‘m super happy and excited to be back with my teammates for the next six years. This is something I really wanted - to stay with the Denver Broncos,” Miller said.
“I‘m excited for the future and ready to get back to work.”
Miller gets a $23 million signing bonus and $42 million guaranteed at signing, $61 million guaranteed after the second year and $70 million guaranteed after the third year of the deal, according to ESPN sources.
The deal makes the 27-year-old Miller the highest-paid defensive player by average at just over $19 million per year. It is also the richest contract at any position other than quarterback.
“Von’s earned this contract not only for what he’s done in the past but for what we believe he’ll do in the future. This was a long process that ended the way we all wanted - with Von being part of the Denver Broncos for many more years,” said Broncos general manager John Elway.
“Our team had a tremendous year last season, and the way Von performed the final few weeks was such a big part of our Super Bowl run.”
Franchise-tagged players who do not sign a long-term deal, make the average of the top-five salaries of their position for this year.
Miller finished last season with 11 sacks and four forced fumbles. The four-time Pro Bowl selection added 2 1/2 sacks and two forced fumbles to help the Broncos defeat the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50.
Editing by Larry Fine