Von Miller is due to be a first-time free agent in March and may be headed for a third NFL team at that point. But the Rams, who traded for the 11th-year pass rusher Monday, figure to factor into that equation. They have already broached the topic of Miller being in Los Angeles beyond this season.
GM Les Snead said Tuesday he has spoken with Miller’s representatives about an extension, via ESPN.com’s Lindsey Thiry. The Broncos are paying $9MM of the $9.7MM remaining on Miller’s current contract, but the Rams surrendered second- and third-round picks in the 2022 draft — a price well north of where anyone else was willing to go. That points to the team viewing Miller as more than a rental.
“We’re actually looking at this from a standpoint of how soon can he help us, can he help us if we’re fortunate enough to continue going and make the 2021 tournament, how can he help us there,” Snead said. “And then there’s a long-term vision for Von as well.”
Los Angeles has Aaron Donald and Leonard Floyd signed, respectively, to $22.5MM- and $16MM-AAV contracts. Although many changes will take place, the Rams are projected to again be near the bottom in cap space. Cap constraints, however, have not exactly deterred them from making impact moves previously during the Snead regime. The team also has the matter of what will likely be a monster Matthew Stafford extension; the MVP candidate’s Lions-constructed deal runs through 2022. A Stafford deal could free up some money, though the prospect of Miller staying in L.A. for his age-33 season and beyond will largely hinge on his performance down the stretch.
Miller’s 110.5 sacks are the most among active players, and the future Hall of Famer sits at 4.5 this season. The Broncos engaged the Rams on the prospect of a Miller trade, Snead said, and the negotiations took place shortly after the teams agreed on a lower-profile deal that sent linebacker Kenny Young to Denver.
“[Broncos GM] George [Paton] reached out at the end of the week and we just couldn’t take on, based on what we’ve done in the past with our cap situation, just can’t take on Von Miller, so that’s when we discussed what it would take from each side,” Snead said of the trade talks. “I think as they were analyzing their situation, we were analyzing ours and we came up with what we felt like was something that was good for the Rams and the Broncos.”