Brandon Staley may not be with the LA Rams anymore, but some of his defensive concepts are sure to stick around under Raheem Morris. Sure that is me stretching to find a connection between the Rams and Miller, but one wouldn’t need to buy a new imagination to understand why the two would be a fit for each other.
There are reports on Wednesday that the Denver Broncos may choose to decline Miller’s $18 million team option this year, making him an unexpected free agent. A mutual parting of ways would also fit with the recent narrative surrounding star veterans that they’d like to be able to choose potential Super Bowl contending fits next season just as Tom Brady did with the Bucs last year.
The Broncos went 5-11 as Miller spent the entire season on injured reserve with a “dislocated peroneal tendon” aka an ankle injury.
Miller didn’t miss any games from 2014 until late in 2019, averaging 12 sacks and 25 QB hits per season. He will be 32 in March and he is a one-time Super Bowl champion, but he may like to use 2021 as an opportunity to make it two.
The Rams wouldn’t represent a dramatic shift in defensive philosophy for Miller, who has spent his career as a 3-4 linebacker. Los Angeles could lose Leonard Floyd in free agency and with or without him, would be entering next season with a probable weakness at linebacker if they don’t make any significant changes.
I speculated about J.J. Watt last week and today the focus turns to Miller and in both cases I believe they represent significant upgrades that would give the Rams a high probability of repeating as no less than a top-five defense. But it would also require either of them to accept a contract that is likely below their market value for an opportunity to win the NFC with Matthew Stafford as the signpost that LA is a star veteran destination with the stadium that’s hosting the Super Bowl to prove it.
As of now, Miller is not a free agent. The Broncos aren’t in cap trouble but do they expect to contend in the AFC next season with Drew Lock? Do they need to acquire a quarterback before anyone’s convinced that Denver can contend, including Miller? Did Miller nudge the rumor bear today that he could become a free agent?
If he hits the market, the Rams are one of the most intriguing destinations that remains open for business.
Which veteran would be most helpful to the Rams next season?
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