Miller spent his first 10-plus seasons with the Broncos, totaling 110.5 sacks in 142 games with the franchise. The MVP of Super Bowl 50, Miller has seven double-digit sack seasons with three All-Pro selections and eight Pro Bowl appearances. In seven games with the Broncos this season, Miller has 4.5 sacks, 19 tackles and nine quarterback hits.
The Rams are clearly all-in with the addition of Miller, making sure they have all the pieces necessary to win the Super Bowl this year. Did Los Angeles give up too much for Miller? Here are the grades for this mega-deal:
Rams GM Les Snead deserves a lot of credit for not even worrying about the draft. Why pick a bunch of unproven commodities when an organization can trade for a proven asset that can help a franchise win now? Snead doesn't know how that 2022 second-round and third-round pick will pan out, but he knows what the Rams are getting with Miller.
Miller has been the premier pass rusher in the NFL for the last decade as his 110.5 sacks since 2011 lead the league. His 142 tackles for loss are second only to J.J. Watt and his 225 quarterback hits are third to Watt and Carlos Dunlap -- and this was with Miller missing the entire 2020 season due to an Achilles injury. Miller is also getting paired with Aaron Donald on the defensive line, who has the most sacks in the NFL since he entered the league in 2014. That's 201 sacks on one defensive line between two players, along with Leonard Floyd and Sebastian Joseph-Day.
The Rams already lead the NFL in sacks with 25 and are fifth with 107 pressures. Now they're adding Miller's 4.5 sacks and 25 pressures to the mix. Was the draft capital a little high? Sure, but the Rams are only paying Miller $700,000 of his $9 million salary.
Los Angeles only has a compensatory third-round pick in the first four rounds of next year's draft, but the Rams are going for a Super Bowl. Draft picks clearly don't matter to Snead, even if he only has Miller for half a season.
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Denver general manager George Paton saw the writing on the wall with Miller, who had a half-year left on his six-year, $114.5 million contract -- and will be a free agent at the conclusion of the season. The Broncos are 4-4 and in the AFC playoff race, but this team isn't close to being a Super Bowl contender. There was no reason to hang on to Miller when there were two Day 2 draft picks offered on the table -- all to take on $9 million of Miller's remaining $9.7 million salary.
Basically the Broncos bought a second-round pick if they took on Miller's salary -- a smart business decision by Paton. They didn't give Miller away to a contender, but added future assets to a draft haul that includes their own draft pick in each of the first four rounds. Denver has a first-round pick, two second-round picks, two third-round picks, and a fourth-round pick in 2022 -- enough capital where some of those picks can be used to acquire a franchise quarterback.
The Broncos need that franchise quarterback if they wish to compete for a Super Bowl in the AFC and were linked to Aaron Rodgers on several occasions during the offseason. These draft picks from the Miller deal won't be enough to get Rodgers, but if Denver uses multiple first-round picks to acquire a player of his caliber, the Broncos will have some draft picks to fall back on to make the roster better.
There was no downside toward trading Miller, especially since Denver didn't give him away.