SANTA CLARA Broncos linebacker Von Miller will earn about $1.3 million in base salary this year. It might be just enough to repay his parents' grocery bills.
When Miller was in high school, his family in Texas took in three other players on the De-Soto High School football team, including 49ers defensive lineman Tony Jerod-Eddie.
"It was like a sleepover every day," Miller said by phone Thursday.
Jerod-Eddie, an undrafted rookie, said it goes deeper than that. Friends since they were young boys, he said he considers himself Miller's little brother, and he refers to Miller's parents, Gloria and Von, as mom and dad.
Jerod-Eddie said he's close to his biological mother.
But when she was poised to move from De-Soto, which is outside of Dallas, before Jerod-Eddie's sophomore year of high school, Miller asked his own mother if the big defensive lineman could stay with them. Two other high school teammates, including current Kansas City Chiefs running back Cyrus Gray, joined the group.
"We're more than friends. It's more like a brotherhood," Miller said. "You know you're close when you can go into someone else's refrigerator and it's not a problem."
Jerod-Eddie, who was a year behind Miller, lived with the Millers even after Von left for Texas A&M. The following year, he and Gray joined Miller on the Aggies football team.
Miller continued to play the role of older brother this offseason.
He trained alongside Jerod-Eddie in the Los Angeles area and did his best to prepare him for his rookie season. He also introduced Jerod-Eddie to one of his future teammates.
Aldon Smith and Miller became friendly rivals in college both are Big 12 Conference products and kept in touch last season when they were vying for the sack title among rookies. Smith edged Miller 14 to 11 1/2. Miller, however, was named the league's Defensive Rookie of the Year.
The two met up in the Los Angeles area this winter, and Miller brought Jerod-Eddie with him. "That's my dog, man," Jerod-Eddie said of Smith. "Like I said, it was good coming here and knowing somebody."
Jerod-Eddie said he planned to meet with Miller and his family before the 49ers play the Broncos in Sunday's nationally televised game.
Et cetera Coach Jim Harbaugh said that Alex Smith would start in Denver and that Colin Kaepernick remains the team's No. 2 quarterback. He would not say which quarterback, Josh Johnson or Scott Tolzien, would enter the game next.
Injured running back Brandon Jacobs has shown enough improvement to make the 49ers' final roster, Harbaugh said. Jacobs suffered a knee injury in the first quarter last Saturday in Houston and is unlikely to play in the last two preseason games.
Neither NaVorro Bowman nor Chris Culliver practiced for the second consecutive day. Look for Larry Grant to start Sunday's game next to Patrick Willis if Bowman can't play. Either Perrish Cox or Tramaine Brock will play in place of Culliver, the 49ers' No. 3 cornerback.