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The Eagles and defensive lineman Fletcher Cox have agreed to a 6-year, $103 million contract that had been in the works since March.
Cox’s deal is a monster; as Adam Schefter noted while the ink was still drying, the $63 million guaranteed to Cox is the most guaranteed money for a non-quarterback in NFL history.
It’s also excellent news for Von Miller.
Miller and the Broncos are currently struggling to negotiate a contract extension, and several reports have said that their standoff has centered around how much guaranteed money Miller will earn.
Talks reportedly broke down last week when Miller turned down a $114.5 million contract that included $58 million ($39.8 million in the first two years) in guaranteed money.
Like Cox, Miller is a pass rusher – only better and more valuable to his team. And because NFL contracts are informed by those of comparable players, Cox’s deal gives Miller additional leverage over John Elway and the Denver front office.
If Cox is on the team in March of 2017, he’ll earn a whopping $55.549 million in guaranteed money. Miller, his agent will argue, deserves more.
The only argument Elway could possibly make in return, it seems, is that the Eagles are spending an irrational amount of money this offseason, making Cox’s contract an anomaly in the market.
That’s a hard argument to make, though. Cox is an elite defender: Pro Football Focus gave him a 90.3 overall grade last season, good for 10th in the league among interior defenders. Miller, meanwhile, earned a 94.0 from PFF – second among edge defenders behind only Kahlil Mack.
Miller and the Broncos are reportedly still gridlocked, and Miller could potentially sit out all of the 2016 in order to shed the exclusive franchise tag the Broncos might give him if no extension works out. Cox’s deal seems likely to ensure this doesn’t happen, and that Miller gets the money he deserves.