ENGLEWOOD — Andy Janovich drips old-school football. He forged a reputation at Nebraska for breaking his own facemask with violent hits. He earned a spot on the Broncos with his punishing blocks and special teams acumen. As the Broncos look to identify core players moving forward, Janovich joined that group Friday, signing a three-year, $5.7 million contract extension with a signing bonus of $1.35 million. The sides began talking during training camp, tabled it after the fullback's injury, then worked out it this week after his successful return.
“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.”
Janovich is football's version of a pickup truck. He is trusted, dependable and effective. He didn't hesitate when contract talks picked up.
"It was a top five offer. It would seem greedy to wait until free agency and try to get a little more. I wanted to be here," Janovich said.
His impact, however, shows up through the statistics of others. He is considered an extra offensive lineman or a "fixer," as running back Phillip Lindsay explained. With Jano often helping clear a path, Lindsay became the first undrafted offensive rookie to make the Pro Bowl in 2018. Lindsay has rushed for 1,364 yards and 12 touchdowns in his first 20 games, and his production picked up with the recent return of Janovich from a pectoral injury.
"I want to give a shout out to Jano because one, having him back is just -- it’s like night and day. 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," said Lindsay before telling Denver7 Friday about the new deal, "It means a lot. That man puts his body on the line just like an offensive lineman. He never speaks bad about anyone. He does his job. He loves his family. He loves his wife. And he loves his truck. That’s pretty much it.”
Jano is admired for his simplicity. Even the description of his job comes without frills, "My job," he told Denver7, "is to run into people."
In his career, Janovich boasts two rushing touchdowns, 17 receptions with a score, and has posted a team-best 16 special teams tackles since 2016.
"Jano is an extension of the Oline. No one deserves it more than him. He bangs his head in there just like we do. He came back ready after hurting his pec ready to roll," guard Ron Leary said. "I am happy for him. Much respect for him."