ENGLEWOOD, Colo. -- Is any non-quarterback worth what the Denver Broncos are paying outside linebacker Von Miller?

The numbers on his new six-year contract, signed earlier this month, are staggering. He is the highest-paid defensive player in the league, getting a reported $114 million with $70 million in guaranteed money.

That's for a player who had 11 sacks in the 2015 regular season, which isn't even one a game. Think about that for a second: Miller failed to knock the opposing quarterback down in six games, had multiple sacks in just one, which is why some will wonder why he's making all that money.

So he's not worth it right?

Forget that. He might not be worth his salary five to six years from now when his career is winding down, but there are ways around that, such as restructuring or sending him packing. After all, most NFL contracts feature a lot of funny money to amplify the numbers that the team and the agent never expect to see.

For the next four years, Miller will be worth all of it. Here's why:

Sack, fumble, turnover, game over.

It's the formula that helped him get that money in the first place. Just pop in his playoff tape, including Denver's victory over Carolina in Super Bowl 50 last February, and you will see why. He was a pass-rush menace in the postseason. Those guys are hard to find. He has also been among the league leader in pressures the past few seasons.

As Miller arrived here for the open of Broncos training camp Wednesday, he met the media for the first time since signing his new deal, his usual stylish glasses on his head and a white t-shirt that read: Property of Broncos.

"I'm ready to go, I am ready to play football," Miller said. "I feel like I am in shape. I feel totally confident in my ability to get back on the football field."

Von Miller was the difference as the Broncos won the NFL title last season. USATSI

Miller stayed away from team activities this offseason after the Broncos put the franchise tag on him. The tension between the sides was so bad that he cropped Broncos general manager John Elway out of a picture from the team's White House visit that Miller put on Instagram. Miller even threatened to sit out the season if he didn't get a new deal. He wouldn't have, but it worked.

The two sides came together on the deal as the deadline to give him one was approaching. And now Miller is back with the Super Bowl champions as they ready to try and repeat.

Miller had five sacks in three postseason games, 2.5 in both the AFC Championship Game and the Super Bowl. He had two forced fumbles in the Super Bowl, one that turned into a defensive touchdown and the second that lead to the game-clinching points. It was also Miller who led the Broncos defense as they stopped Tom Brady and the Patriots in the AFC title game.

Then it was Miller becoming a household name with his abuse of the Carolina tackles in the Super Bowl.

Sack, fumble, turnover, game over.

The expectations are rising with Miller's bank account. The postseason showing of last January and February has to be the norm in the regular season. Eleven sacks, even with all that pressure, won't be good enough.

"I'm aware of the expectations, but we have high expectations of all of us," Miller said.

Yes, but he is now the face of the franchise. Peyton Manning is gone and the defense will again be the stars of the team, and Miller is the star of stars. Broncos fans need not worry. He is in the prime of his career. Pass rushers can play deep into their 30s -- maybe just not at the same level -- and he only turned 27 in March.

Miller is a bit eccentric by NFL standards, walking to his own beat, doing things his way, including taking part in Dancing with the Stars. But when he puts that helmet on, things change. He becomes a force of speed and power off the edge that makes it hellish for quarterbacks.

This is a passing league. That's why there's great value in the quarterback position. But knocking the quarterback down is almost as important. That's why giving Miller a long-term deal for generational money like he got was the thing to do.



Tell me that in five years. Better yet, tell me that come December when Miller and his defensive teammates are carrying the Broncos to the playoffs again, even with quarterback issues on offense.

Sack, fumble, turnover, game over.

Never forget.