In an interview with SI’S Greg Bishop on Tuesday, Miller went in-depth about his experiences as a two-time Super Bowl champion, his goal to win a third with the Buffalo Bills, and his ambitions to run his own team after his playing career is over. It’s actually pretty fitting that John Elway’s best player on the 2010s Denver Broncos (other than Peyton Manning) also wants to transition from player to personnel executive.
Whenever he does retire, though, Miller plans to stay in football. He’s already working on that, having decided a few years ago and confirmed more deeply since, at least internally, that he wants to pivot into becoming a personnel executive. His goal is to (one day) run an NFL team.
There’s no reason to think that Miller is any less qualified to run a team than the average general manager. Fans and media rarely discuss what the background for today’s general managers even is, because if we did we’d likely come to find that everyone’s story is different. Jerry Jones bought his way into running an NFL team. And really when you think about it, almost every owner is the last line of decision-making and could at any point be running the operation.
The Rams are lucky in that Stan Kroenke is probably one of the few who doesn’t want to be involved in the team’s operations.
John Lynch would be an example of another player-turned-general manager and he’s helped the San Francisco 49ers reach several NFC Championships and one Super Bowl. In the case of a Les Snead disciple, Brad Holmes is running the Detroit Lions and he got his start in the Rams organization as a PR assistant, setting up interviews for players with the media.
So Von Miller pursuing a career in the front office, which he’s already been working on by having regular meetings with Bills GM Brandon Beane to learn the ropes, isn’t that farfetched. Snead also sees the potential in Miller to become a GM based on what he saw from Von on the Rams, rallying the team together for a championship run despite being one of the last guys added to the roster:
He added, “Players like Von have a sixth sense of what a collective that can earn special looks like, feels like and smells like … and they know how to push and pull the collective toward the mission. … This would be the superpower he could tap into as a GM.”
Von Miller is 34 and preparing to enter his 13th season in the NFL, so when he decides to retire is entirely open-ended. The Bills could win the Super Bowl and he decides that’s enough, or he could want to give it three more tries. Miller had eight sacks in 11 games last season, so as long as he’s healthy he hasn’t shown signs of being less productive.
When that day comes, will the Rams have a need for a PR intern?