It’s official: Von Miller becomes the highest-paid defensive player in football

Miller comes away from these negotiations looking smart in his decision to hold out until the last minute to get a multi-year deal done.

CHRISTIAN-lighter
Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller (58) strip sacks Carolina Panthers quarterback Cam Newton (1) during fourth quarter action in Super Bowl 50 at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, CA, February 7, 2016. Photo by Ben Hays.

Von Miller finally got paid. (Photo by Ben Hays)

The Denver Broncos and Von Miller have come to terms on a multi-year contract that will make the star linebacker the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history.

Miller signed a six-year, $114.5 million deal worth $70 million in overall guarantees. His record-breaking deal eclipses the $63 million in guaranteed money the Philadelphia Eagles gave Fletcher Cox earlier this summer by a comfortable margin. Miller will earn $61 million within the first eight months of signing.

Ian Rapaport of the NFL Network broke the news Friday afternoon a little less than two hours before the 2 p.m. deadline. Miller confirmed the deal with this.

Miller has recorded 60 sacks in five seasons since Denver took him No. 2 overall in 2011. The Texas A&M alum has bounced back from a suspension and injury that cost him most of 2013 to sign one of the most lucrative NFL contracts ever.

He is fresh off a dominating postseason performance that helped the Broncos beat the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50. Miller harassed Panthers’ quarterback Cam Newton into fumbling twice. In doing so, he became just the third linebacker ever to win Super Bowl MVP honors. He finished the the playoffs with five sacks in three games.

Miller leveraged that performance into this mammoth deal. Only Indianapolis Colts’ quarterback Andrew Luck has ever signed for more in overall guarantees ($87 million).

Miller also comes away from these negotiations looking smart in his decision to hold out until the last minute to get a multi-year deal done. He and his team rejected the Broncos’ offer of $38.5 million in guarantees a month ago.

Negotiations got testy at times. Miller passive-aggressively cropped Broncos’ general manager John Elway out of a photo on his InstaGram in June, and there were media leaks throughout the process.

But in the end, Miller and Denver were able to get a deal done with about two hours to spare. Both sides seemed happy when it was finally over.

 

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

 

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