What Fletcher Cox's huge deal means for Von Miller, others

Fletcher Cox's negotiations with the Philadelphia Eagles progressed so quietly that they didn't even register on this dummy's list of upcoming NFL megadeals.

Make no mistake, however, the contract announced Monday evening will have ripple effects for months, if not years, on the league's financial landscape.

The six-year extension includes more guaranteed money -- $63 million -- than any non-quarterback deal in NFL history. It's doubtful that all of it is fully guaranteed, but when you start getting into any level of new precedent, you know the impact is going to be significant.

In this case, it's difficult to look at this deal and not think of Denver Broncos linebacker Von Miller, who turned down a six-year offer that included $58 million in guarantees, according to ESPN's Adam Schefter. Miller and Cox are not in identical contract situations; for instance, Cox's deal adds six years to his current deal and thus ties him to the team longer than the offer Miller received from the Broncos. And they play different positions for teams with dissimilar financial approaches.

But ultimately, Miller and Cox are defensive havoc wreakers who before today didn't have contracts that extended beyond the 2016 season. One is now among the NFL's highest-paid players, while the other is staring at the possibility of receiving the franchise tag for two consecutive years as he approaches his 30th birthday.

Did Cox and the Eagles help nudge the Broncos closer to Miller? Schefter has reported that the Broncos' latest offer included $39.8 million guaranteed in the first two years, with the other $19 million presumably coming in the third year. For context, consider that pass-rusher Olivier Vernon got $41 million fully guaranteed -- to be paid out over two years -- from the New York Giants on the open market this spring.

The Miller-Broncos discussions will get a kick-start if the Eagles have given Cox more than $40 million guaranteed in the first two years, a figure that will emerge in the coming days. Even if they didn't, however, it should be noteworthy to Miller that the Eagles finally consummated the deal when Cox agreed to join offseason workouts. Miller has skipped the Broncos' workouts.

Whether or not Miller gets a long-term contract out of this agreement, the deal puts Cox among the very best defensive linemen in the game. His average of $17.2 million per season puts him ahead of, among others, Vernon ($17 million), the Houston Texans' J.J. Watt ($16.6 million), the New York Jets' Muhammad Wilkerson ($15.7 million as a franchise player) and the Buffalo Bills' Marcell Dareus ($15.85 million). Only Ndamukong Suh ($19.1 million) averages more, and it's worth noting that Suh's deal came as an unrestricted free agent with the Miami Dolphins.

Wilkerson's negotiating position surely won't be damaged by Cox's deal. Neither will that of Kawaan Short, who is in the final year of his deal with the Carolina Panthers.

The final numbers are yet to emerge, but from afar, it appears that Cox has pocketed precedent-setting cash -- for both himself and a few lucky colleagues around the NFL.