The 49ers haven't had an elite sack artist since Aldon Smith racked up 33.5 sacks in the 2011-12 seasons, including a record-threatening run in 2012 where the first-round pick finished with 19.5 in his first year as a starter.

Players that can affect the quarterback are in line to earn among the most dollars in the league, and that's what happened Friday when Von Miller signed a six-year, $114.5 million deadline deal with the Denver Broncos that includes $70 million guaranteed.

Miller received $23 million at signing and will earn $61 million over the first eight months of the blockbuster deal that makes him the highest-paid player outside of quarterbacks in NFL history.

This elicited a response from young 49ers pass rusher Eli Harold, who congratulated Miller on his deal.

"Congrats to one of the (goat emoji) @Millerlite40 deserve every last time."

[RELATED: Broncos make Miller highest paid defensive player ever]

Harold, the 79th overall pick by the 49ers just a couple years ago, is entering his second NFL season in 2016.

The 6-foot-3, 265 edge defender posted 17.5 sacks and 36.5 tqackles for loss in three seasons at Virginia (36 games).

Harold appeared in all 16 games for the 49ers as a rookie, starting just one, and coming up with 13 tackles and a fumble recovery.

The 49ers on Friday announced that starting outside linebacker Aaron Lynch has been suspended by the league for the first four games of the season.

 

"Other people like Eli Harold really have to step up to get pressure on the quarterback," CSN Bay Area's Matt Maiocco said Friday.  

 

 

Associated Press contributed to this report