ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — The Broncos have signed fullback Andy Janovich to a three-year, $5.7 million contract extension that makes him the third highest-paid fullback in the NFL, sources tell 9NEWS (the Broncos just confirmed the report by announcing Janovich’s signing). 

Janovich will continue to draw his $720,000 salary this year, the final year of his four-year rookie contract. But to help with his cash flow, he will get a $1.35 million signing bonus.

Janovich became a priority in part because he is a member of the Broncos’ 2016 draft class in which all remaining players are eligible for unrestricted free agency at season’s end.

“Since he was drafted back in 2016, Andy has developed into one of the best fullbacks in the league,” Broncos general manager John Elway said. “He’s exactly what you look for in a fullback—tough, reliable and a versatile part of not only the offense but also our special teams. It’s nice to see how Andy’s hard work has paid off, and we look forward to his continued impact on the Broncos.”

The league’s highest-paid fullback is an outlier – San Francisco’s Kyle Juszcyk, who is drawing an average salary of $5.25 million a year. Juszcyk is paid like a tight end as he has averaged 35 catches the previous four seasons. Janovich, who might be the league’s best blocking fullback, averages about 6 catches a year.

The next-highest paid fullback, though, drops all the way to the $2.1 million average of Buffalo’s Patrick DiMarco. Both Juszcyk and DiMarco are Pro Bowlers.

Janovich is third with an average salary of $1.9 million. He is arguably the best blocking fullback in the league –and indisputably the best among those he leads through the hole.

“Having him back is just—it’s like night and day,’’ said running back Phillip Lindsay this week in reference to Janovich returning two weeks ago to his torn pec injury. “That’s like me and him are married together. He does a lot for us. He makes a lot of things go in this offense and he’s a fixer.’’