Von Miller's last two weeks have been nothing short of tumultuous. It now includes saying goodbye to the only NFL team he's ever known.
The Denver Broncos are trading Miller to the Los Angeles Rams in exchange for second- and third-round picks in the 2022 NFL Draft, NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport and NFL Network's James Palmer reported Monday. The Rams later confirmed the deal.
Miller has had a productive season to this point, recording 4.5 sacks and landing among the league's top 10 defenders in total quarterback pressures (30). Through six games, Miller was on pace to break double digits in sacks, and he was feeling himself entering Denver's Week 7 game against Cleveland, telling reporters he was going to "go off" against the Browns.
He instead suffered an injury that knocked him out of that contest and Denver's next, a 17-10 win over Washington.
"I was close last week," Miller told KMGH-TV's Troy Renck. "I hope to be able to play this week vs. the Titans on Sunday night."
An emotional Miller added: "We'll always have Super Bowl 50. Seeing the pictures when I was walking out, it just made me tear up. But we always got Super Bowl 50. I always got Broncos country."
Broncos general manager George Paton, speaking Monday evening, admitted it was a difficult to part with Miller but believes it will be a transaction that benefits both sides.
"Von and I had a positive, honest conversation this morning about our team as well as his own future. As I told Von, we wanted to do right not only for the Broncos, but also for him personally with everything he has meant to this organization," Paton said, via 9News' Mike Klis. "While it's certainly not easy to part ways with a player like Von, this is an opportunity for both our team and for Von as he begins the next chapter of his career."
Broncos head coach Vic Fangio shared his post-trade message to the team during a Monday interview with KOA-AM.
"I paid respect to Von and what he's done here in his career," Fangio said. "He's been a great player, been a great teammate, been a great ambassador for the Broncos. [We] all wished the best moving forward, told him I was going to miss him personally, as I'm sure a lot of the players will. We're moving forward with the guys we have, with the guys we had play yesterday, and we're going to find a way to keep winning football games."
Now he's off to Los Angeles, where Miller will pair with Leonard Floyd to create quite an edge-rushing duo in Los Angeles' 3-4 front. Floyd enjoyed a breakout season in 2020 -- his first with the Rams -- breaking 10 sacks for the first time in his career. Now he'll have the opportunity to pair with one of the best edge rushers of his generation in Miller, creating a duo that accounts for a combined 61 total QB pressures to this point in 2021.
Oh, and Aaron Donald -- the three-time Defensive Player of the Year, six-time All-Pro and future Pro Football Hall of Famer -- is also on that defensive front.
Rams general manager Les Snead seems to have never seen a trade involving his draft capital that he didn't like, especially when it gives Los Angeles a chance to immediately improve. It's a defining trait for the Snead/McVay Rams, and it keeps them competitive on an annual basis.
McVay called Miller an "incredibly unique football player" during his media availability on Monday before saying that there's an expectation that he'll play Week 9, barring a setback with his injured ankle.
Two years ago, Snead executed a blockbuster, in-season deal that brought Jalen Ramsey to the Rams. This time around, Snead is pulling the trigger on a trade that will bring the Rams a boost in the pass-rushing department, which should excite players like Ramsey on the back end of the defense.
Snead and Broncos general manager George Paton have gotten rather friendly this season. This is the second swap between the Rams and Broncos in the last week: Denver acquired Rams linebacker Kenny Young and a 2024 seventh-round pick in exchange for a 2024 sixth-round pick on Oct. 25.
The Broncos are in a bit of a gray area as a franchise right now, starting the season 3-0 but coming back to reality in the last month. At 4-4, they're in the thick of the AFC West race but haven't quite defined who they are as a team. Trading Miller now gives the 32-year-old veteran a chance to compete for a title while also providing the Broncos a valuable return for a veteran on the final year of a six-year, $114.5 million deal. Denver will be glad to score a pair of Day 2 picks for a player the Broncos would struggle to figure out how to properly compensate in 2022 and beyond.
Denver won't forget Miller's contributions -- most notably his MVP performance in Super Bowl 50. Los Angeles will be glad to have them for the rest of 2021.
Said Broncos president of football operations John Elway: "Von was always at his best when we needed him the most. Our Super Bowl 50 win and playoff run that year would not have been possible without Von turning in one of the most dominant individual performances of all time."