Von Miller was a terror in the playoffs last year, as he carried the Denver Broncos to a Super Bowl Victory — at a, relatively speaking, cheap $9.754 million price tag. Now, after signing the largest non-quarterback deal in NFL history — six-years, $114.5 million with $70 million guaranteed — the expectations have soared.

“Von’s earned this contract not only for what he’s done in the past, but for what we believe he’ll do in the future,” said Broncos general manager John Elway after officially announcing the contract on Friday.

Sept. 8, the kickoff of the NFL season with the Denver Broncos taking on the Carolina Panthers, will not only be a rematch of the Super Bowl, where Von took over the game with 2.5 sacks and two forced fumbles, it will be the first game played since signing his record-breaking contract.

Although it’s just one game out of the 96 potential games that Miller just signed on for, this game will be looked at as the moment for Von to prove his worth.

This game carries so much importance for Miller, not just because it’s the first game since signing the contract, but because it will be under the national spotlight and against a team that went 15-1 in the regular season last year.

While most Broncos fans are happy to see Miller locked into a long-term contract, the national perspective isn’t as kind to the deal. There isn’t a better way for Miller to show the country his value than to completely wreak havoc on Panthers quarterback Cam Newton — for a second time.

“Our team had a tremendous year last season, and the way Von performed the final few weeks was such a big part of our Super Bowl run,” Elway said.

The last time these two teams played, 111.9 million people were watching. This time around, the number won’t be quite that high but will still have a massive national audience, most likely topping last year’s opening game at 27.4 million viewers.

Last year, Miller proved that he steps up when the pressure is on, not only in the Super Bowl, but also in the AFC championship game, where he had 2.5 sacks, 2 tackles for loss and an interception, all while keeping Tom Brady and the New England offense in check for most of the game — in front of over 53 million viewers.

Miller will have the opportunity to show the entire country that he is worthy of being the highest-paid defensive player in NFL history, as well as prove that his boss, Elway, made that correct decision giving him that historic paycheck.

Elway has made many big moves in his executive career — from signing Peyton Manning for five-years, $96 million to signing DeMarcus Ware for three-years with an average of $10 million per year — but this will be by far the biggest contract for Elway, not only in terms of dollars, but in terms of evaluating how well Elway values talent.

Any organization would have given similar contracts, if not more, to Manning and Ware, but Elway went in more uncertain territory by signing Miller to the largest defensive contract in NFL history. If Miller lives up to this contract, it will seem as if there is nothing Elway can’t do; however, if Miller falls short, Elway may be brought back to earth. Elway expects nothing but the first scenario.

“Going forward, we expect great things from Von, not only on the field, but with the responsibility he has as a leader on the team,” said Elway.

This evaluation process, for both Miller and Elway, begins on September 8.

Miller’s contract is much more than just one game, but this one game will set the tone for how Miller, the Broncos and general manager John Elway will be viewed and respected, not only for this year, but also for years upcoming — and it’s all on the back of the $70 million man.