Denver Broncos superstar pass-rusher Von Miller signed a six-year, $114.5 million contract to secure his future with the franchise this offseason, and he spoke Wednesday about how thrilled he is about his situation.
Miller commented on how excited he is to play with some of the Broncos' other stars for the foreseeable future, per Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio:
It's back to normal. I'm ready to go. I'm ready to go play football. I talked to John [Elway] this morning and I told him that I get to play with [receiver Demaryius Thomas] for about nine years. I get to play with [cornerback] Chris [Harris Jr.] for 9-10 years so that's some of the stuff that I'm excited about. I'm aware of the expectations, but we have high expectations for all of us. I'm ready to get back to work and contribute to the locker room, the same stuff that I've been doing.
The reigning Super Bowl MVP also discussed his relationship with Broncos general manager John Elway.
"Everything is great," Miller said. "Everybody know the type of respect that I have for Mr. Elway. I was his first draft pick here. We've always had talks. Not only this year, but my first year, my third year, my fourth year; all of the way up until this point. I don't expect anything to change."
A tense negotiating period preceded Miller putting pen to paper to secure his lucrative long-term deal. Bleacher Report's Jason Cole reported that Miller was considering sitting out the entire 2016 season at one point.
But all's well that ends well, as the saying goes. Now Denver and Miller can look forward to a lengthy partnership.
As for his role as the "face of the franchise," Miller downplayed the significance of that label despite his humongous contract, per Florio:
I feel like our locker room should be the face of this franchise. We got a great locker room. There's not a locker room like this in the National Football League. Talking to the guys in the locker room that have come from other teams, that's the first thing they say, that, this locker room is "second-to-none" type of camaraderie that we have in the locker room. The leadership that we have, you just don't get in the National Football League so that will be the strength of our football team and I'm a part of that.
Miller may be a leader, but he still has to prove he can live up to the big money the Broncos paid him. That means he'll have to continue playing at an elite level and perhaps elevate his game even more in the coming years to justify Denver's investment.
Downplaying any implication that he was out of shape due to the contract spat, Miller said: "I never got too far away from working out or grinding. I worked the same as I would during the season or during the offseason."
It's especially important for Miller to be in top shape and to lead by example for the 2016 campaign in particular. As stout as the Broncos figure to be on defense, an unclear quarterback situation looms.
Whatever positive locker room culture there might be, Denver's QB options are veteran Mark Sanchez, second-year signal-caller Trevor Siemian and rookie first-round pick Paxton Lynch. The most important position on the field isn't settled for the upcoming season.
No matter what type of impact Miller has on the field and otherwise for the Broncos, they need one of their three QBs to take command of the offense in order to have a realistic chance of returning to the Super Bowl.
Contract details courtesy of Spotrac.