According to multiple reports, the Denver Broncos have agreed to trade outside linebacker Von Miller to the Los Angeles Rams, ultimately pairing him with Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey in what now appears to be the scariest defensive unit in all of football. The news shocked the footballing world, and with the NFL trade deadline set for Tuesday afternoon, more deals could be on the way.
Miller will now undoubtedly serve as Los Angeles’ top pass-rushing threat off the edge, teaming up with the formidable Leonard Floyd, who has been in fine form this season by recording 6.5 sacks through eight games. It’s a bold move that represents general manager Les Snead’s willingness to strengthen a strength, as the Rams were already leading the league in sacks (25) through eight weeks prior to Miller’s arrival.
On the compensation front, the Rams are sending second and third-round picks in 2022 to Denver in exchange for the eight-time Pro Bowler. It's become evident that owner Stan Kroenke and Snead are serious about capturing the Lombardi Trophy in front of their home fans at SoFi Stadium in this year's iteration of the Super Bowl.
From a drafting perspective, Snead and the Rams continue to showcase their general disdain for the dice-roll that is the NFL draft, preferring to hedge their bets on proven NFL talent. Although they are scheduled to receive several compensatory selections in the 2022 draft—including the second of two third-round comp picks awarded to them for when the Lions hired away Brad Holmes to be their general manager—the Rams currently do not own a single non-comp pick in 2022 before the fifth round.
For Denver, this deal was clearly made with an eye toward the future. Currently sitting at 4-4 in the ever-competitive AFC West, the Broncos' chances of reaching the 2021 playoffs are slim given their form. This is a franchise that is much closer to hitting the reset button in the offseason than they are competing for a championship. This deal also represents the end of an era for Miller and the Broncos. It’s tough to put in words what former Super Bowl MVP Miller has meant to that city and organization. He now departs the only team he’s ever played for as the franchise's all-time leader in sacks (110.5), a record that will be beyond difficult to top.
The 32-year-old Miller entered the 2021 campaign with something to prove. Naysayers began revealing themselves in bunches prior to the season, but Miller has more than answered the bell by recording an impressive 4.5 sacks in just seven appearances for the Broncos.
It will be interesting to monitor what a change of scenery and a new set of expectations could do for the Canton-bound Miller. Although Miller must now say a difficult goodbye to a fan base he holds dearly, the veteran pass rusher should relish the opportunity to join a Rams team that are legitimate Super Bowl contenders.