The Broncos’ post-Peyton Manning decline led to Von Miller landing in trade rumors ahead of recent trade deadlines, and first-year GM George Paton pulled the trigger this year by sending the future Hall of Fame edge rusher to the Rams on Monday. Other teams showed interest, but the Rams won out.
Two other teams called the Broncos on Miller, Paton said Tuesday (via The Athletic’s Lindsay Jones, on Twitter). However, the Rams are believed to have made by far the best offer. The other interested franchises did not offer the Broncos anything of substance for Miller, Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk notes. This essentially put Paton to a decision on keeping the decorated sack artist for the stretch run and considering another extension or taking Los Angeles’ offer of two 2022 Day 2 picks — which came after the Broncos agreed to pay most of Miller’s prorated base salary.
Trade discussions began in earnest Friday and wrapped up Sunday night, Paton said (via The Athletic’s Nick Kosmider, on Twitter). Miller met with Paton, John Elway and CEO Joe Ellis on Monday morning. Paton said he wanted to “do right by” Miller, the Broncos’ all-time sack leader and by far the team’s longest-tenured player.
The eight-time Pro Bowler will now join Aaron Donald and Leonard Floyd on the Rams’ front seven and catch on with a 7-1 team. Miller missed the Broncos’ Week 8 game against Washington, which featured the team’s second-string edge rushers faring well, but is not believed to have suffered a serious injury in Denver’s Week 7 loss in Cleveland.
Miller, 32, is in the final months of the six-year, $114.1MM extension he signed with the Broncos at the 2016 franchise tag deadline. The Rams will have exclusive negotiating rights with Miller ahead of free agency, but they already have Donald and Floyd signed to big-ticket contracts. Being cuffed via the fifth-year option in 2015 and franchise-tagged in ’16, Miller has never been a free agent. His upcoming Rams performance will go a long way in shaping his 2022 market. Miller has 4.5 sacks this season, though none have come since Week 4.
After acquiring Miller and Matthew Stafford, the Rams now are without first- and second-round picks in 2022. While the Rams dealt the Broncos a third as well, the Lions hiring previous Rams college scouting director Brad Holmes as GM brought Los Angeles back an additional third-rounder in next year’s draft.
As for the Broncos, the 4-4 team is still without Bradley Chubb. Miller and Chubb each ran into significant injuries during their three-plus seasons together, and the duo last finished a game together in September 2019. Paton hopes Chubb can return after Denver’s Week 11 bye, NFL.com’s James Palmer adds (on Twitter). Chubb, who missed most of the 2019 season with an ACL tear, has undergone two ankle surgeries this year. Denver, which has lost both starting inside linebackers for the season, used Malik Reed and seventh-round rookie Jonathon Cooper as outside linebacker starters in Week 8. Recent trade acquisition Stephen Weatherly collected a sack in rotational duty.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.