Los Angeles Rams coach Sean McVay predicted that Les Snead, the team’s general manager, wouldn’t make any “big splash” moves before Tuesday’s trade deadline.
Turns out McVay’s analysis was all wet with Snead apparently acquiring All-Pro linebacker Von Miller from the Denver Broncos for two 2022 draft picks on Monday, a trade which was first reported by ESPN.
Snead had cleared salary cap space recently to provide him with the financial flexibility to bolster a squad which clearly has a Super-Bowl-or-bust mentality, with the game being played at SoFi Stadium in February.
The Rams (7-1) remain tied with the Arizona Cardinals for the NFC West lead after beating the Houston Texans, 38-22, on Sunday for their fourth straight win.
Miller joins a defense which already features All-Pros in defensive tackle Aaron Donald and safety Jalen Ramsey.
The addition of Miller is significant. His decorated career with the Broncos started in 2011 with him being named the NFL’s defensive rookie of the year. Miller spearheaded Denver’s defense when it won Super Bowl 50, a game in which he was named its most valuable player.
Miller, 32, has been placed on three All-Pro teams and he’s an eight-time Pro Bowl selection. He has 4.5 sacks this season lift his lifetime total to 110.5, as he’s recorded double-digit sack years in seven of his full nine seasons.
He was scheduled to earn $9.7 million for the remainder of this season, with the Rams liable for only $700,000, according to reports. It’s believed the Broncos agreed to take on the majority of Miller’s compensation to gain the second- and third-round draft picks they received in exchange.
This is the final season of Miller’s six-year, $114 million deal. The Broncos decided it was worth moving Miller for draft capital as they didn’t anticipate retaining him.
The Rams, who carry some $41 million in dead cap space, were recently about $150,000 below the cap before Snead moved some players and salaries in his quest to land Miller. Prior to the Miller deal, it was estimated the Rams had some $3 million of cap space available, according to spotrac.com.
Snead has been aggressive during his tenure in peddling personnel and picks for marquee players.
In the offseason Snead acquired quarterback Matthew Stafford from the Detroit Lions in a deal which cost him quarterback Jared Goff and two first-round picks. At the 2019 trading deadline, Snead snagged Ramsey from the Jacksonville Jaguars for two first-round picks.
The Rams might not be done wheeling-and-dealing as they’ve given disgruntled wide receiver DeSean Jackson permission to find a new team.