The Los Angeles Rams, who are making an all-out push to reach the Super Bowl, acquired eight-time Pro Bowl linebacker Von Miller from the Denver Broncos on Monday for two draft choices.
The deal was completed one day ahead of the NFL’s trade deadline, which arrives Tuesday afternoon. It was announced by both teams after being confirmed earlier by Miller and others.
“It’s all kind of numb,” Miller told reporters in Denver, according to video posted on social media by Denver7 News. “It’s all kind of new. It just happened, and I’m on the way to L.A.”
The Broncos will receive second- and third-round picks in next year’s draft in the trade. The Broncos will pay $9 million of the $9.7 million Miller is still owed this season, according to a person familiar with the terms of the deal.
“It was a surprise,” Miller said. “... But you never know. It’s just hard to deal with reality sometimes. This team, they’re going to start winning soon. They’ve got a lot of great players, a lot of great coaches here. The staff is amazing. And I wanted to be a part of it to fix it. You’ve just got to keep moving.”
Miller, who is in the final season of his contract and is eligible for unrestricted free agency in the offseason, said he had not pushed to be traded.
”It’s tough,” he said. “It’s still hard. You can’t really put it into words, life. Somebody told me once if you want to make God laugh, then make plans. You’ve just got to keep going and keep taking it one day at a time. I’ve got a beautiful baby boy and had a lot of beautiful years here, had a lot of great memories here, had a lot of great teammates, a lot of great coaches, a lot of great fans. I’ll never forget all of those people, 100 percent.”
Miller, 32, joins tackle Aaron Donald and cornerback Jalen Ramsey on a Rams defense filled with marquee players. The Rams are 7-1 after adding quarterback Matthew Stafford in an offseason trade with the Detroit Lions.
“We’re all in,” the Rams wrote on Twitter.
Miller had 4.5 sacks in seven games this season after missing all of last year with an ankle injury.
Miller missed the Broncos’ win over the Washington Football Team on Sunday in Denver because of an ankle injury. He said Monday that he was “close” to being able to play in that game and hopes to make his Rams debut Sunday night against the Tennessee Titans in Inglewood, Calif.
“Great team,” Miller said. “I’ve been a huge fan of Aaron Donald for a long time. They’ve got a great defense — Jalen Ramsey, Leonard Floyd, all of these guys.”
He had spent his entire NFL career — spanning 10 seasons and 11 years — with the Broncos, totaling 110.5 sacks.
“It’s always tough whenever you leave,” Miller said. “But I love all my fans. I love Broncos country. When I said Broncos for life, I meant that. It’ll always be in my heart. It was an honor and privilege to play here. John Elway picked me and it was life-changing ever since then, being able to play with Peyton Manning, DeMarcus Ware, Champ Bailey, Brian Dawkins, Tim Tebow — all of these guys. It’s an honor and a privilege. It’s still kind of hard to put into words. It’s still kind of raw. But thank you, thank everybody. And off to L.A.”
Miller was named all-pro three times and won a Super Bowl during his Broncos tenure.
“I’ll always have Super Bowl 50,” he said. “Seeing the pictures when I was walking out, it just made me tear up. But we’ve always got Super Bowl 50.”
The Broncos had been working on a trade with the Rams over the past week, according to a person familiar with the deliberations, and were pleased to be able to land a package of draft choices far superior to the fifth-round compensatory pick they would have been awarded if they had lost Miller in free agency.
“Great trade for Denver — need the picks — need the [quarterback] and the capital to get one,” former NFL executive Michael Lombardi wrote on Twitter. “Hard to say goodbye to a great player but [it’s] a move they needed to make.”