Rams acquire eight-time Pro Bowl linebacker Von Miller in trade with Broncos
Sean McVay tossed it out as a rejoinder — and a reminder.
A few weeks ago, McVay was asked if the Rams were primed to make what has become an almost annual splashy move at the NFL trade deadline.
“Never say never,” he said.
The Rams sent a second- and third-round pick in the 2022 NFL draft to the Denver Broncos, who will pay $9 million of the remaining $9.7 million owed to Miller this season, a person with knowledge of the situation said.
The Rams rolled over the hapless Houston Texans as expected, but they have a tougher task next week against the Tennessee Titans on Sunday night.
Miller, 32, joins a Rams defense that includes star lineman Aaron Donald, star cornerback Jalen Ramsey and edge rusher Leonard Floyd. They have helped lead the Rams to a 7-1 record going into Sunday’s game against the Tennessee Titans at SoFi Stadium.
Miller, the most valuable player of Super Bowl L following the 2015 season, has 4 ½ sacks this season, 110 ½ in his career.
“You look at what it takes to be successful defensively, and it’s about affecting and influencing the quarterback,” McVay said during a videoconference with reporters. “And this guy does it as well as anybody.”
Miller has played his entire career with the Broncos, who selected him with the second pick in the 2011 draft. On Monday in Denver, he was emotional about leaving. But he is looking forward to joining a team regarded as a contender to play in Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium.
So are Rams players.
Several took to social media to express their excitement about Miller’s impending arrival, including Donald, a three-time NFL defensive player of the year who is routinely double- and triple-teamed by opponents.
Donald tweeted “Mood” with a GIF of himself nodding and smiling broadly on the sideline.
“It’s going to be wild,” cornerback Dont’e Deayon said during a videoconference with reporters.
Rams general manager Les Snead has a history of making headline-grabbing deals near the trade deadline, which is Tuesday at 1 p.m. PDT.
In 2018, the Rams traded for outside linebacker Dante Fowler. In 2019, they acquired Ramsey.
“I love the fearlessness,” McVay said. “I love the aggressiveness.”
He also likes the fact that owner Stan Kroenke willingly opens his checkbook to acquire talent. Kroenke spent $5 billion to build SoFi Stadium. He wants to be in the owner’s suite as the NFC representative when the Super Bowl is played Feb. 13.
Rams rookie linebacker Ernest Jones made first start since Kenny Young trade and had an immediate impact with an interception in victory over Texans.
So, there is pressure on McVay and team executives to make sure that happens.
The Rams traded for quarterback Matthew Stafford before the season. The trade for Miller is a short-term bookend.
McVay noted that “things change” rapidly in the NFL, where potential deals are constantly discussed. A few weeks ago, he said, Miller was not on his radar.
“If you had told me … if I thought there was a chance of acquiring Von Miller, I would have said, ‘Are you kidding me? Hell no,’” he said. “And then, when it becomes a reality, you say, ‘Well, let’s look into it.’”
The groundwork for the Miller deal began last Monday when the Rams traded starting linebacker Kenny Young to the Broncos to clear the remainder of his $2.2 million salary. McVay said the Young deal was not done “exclusively” with the Miller trade in mind. It was “the last couple of days that this thing started to unfold,” he said.
Miller suffered an ankle injury during an Oct. 21 game against the Cleveland Browns, and he did not play in Sunday’s victory over the Washington Football Team.
NFL rushing leader Derrick Henry will have surgery Tuesday morning on his right foot. The Tennessee Titans have signed Adrian Peterson.
McVay said Miller was scheduled to take a physical on Tuesday. His availability against the Titans — who signed running back Adrian Peterson to replace injured Derrick Henry — will be determined as the week progresses, McVay said.
The Rams could still make another deal before the deadline.
They are trying to trade receiver DeSean Jackson, who has been frustrated with a limited role and was not active for Sunday’s 38-22 victory over the Houston Texans.
“As of right now, no update on that,” McVay said of Jackson.
Rookie Tutu Atwell will have season-ending shoulder surgery for an injury suffered while returning a punt on Sunday, McVay said. Linebacker Travin Howard (hamstring) will be placed on the reserve/injured list but could return this season…. Offensive lineman Andrew Whitworth (knee) and defensive lineman Sebastian Joseph-Day (chest) are expected to return this week after sitting out against the Texans…. Cornerback Darious Williams (ankle) is eligible to be activated from injured reserve.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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