NFL analyst Rich Eisen is a very good friend of Kara Henderson from their working together for years. She is an NFL analyst who happens to be the wife of LA Rams general manager Les Snead. So when the LA Rams pulled off a coup in trading for Denver Broncos All-Pro Von Miller and convinced the Broncos to pay nearly all of his 2021 NFL salary, you know that Eisen pulled some strings to get the scoop.
What happened next was an excellent first-hand account from the LA Rams GM himself about how it all went down. Eisen gets right to it. He asks if Les Snead brought up Von Miller to the Denver Broncos George Paton regarding how the topic of trading Von Miller was handled.
Les Snead is an incredibly savvy general manager, probably one of the most astute strategists in the NFL, but he hides that cold calculation behind a country handshake and a boyish grin. Even knowing he is playing a game of chess with you and winning, you cannot help but authentically like the guy.
Doing the Denver Deal
The Kenny Young trade with the Denver Broncos started the ball rolling, but it was in no way linked in any way to the Von Miller trade. If anything, it was Les Snead’s strategy of creating a loss leader to get Paton back on the phone to talk about trading Miller. And it worked, Paton called back later in the week about other unfinished transactions.
The trade package of 2022 second-round and third-round picks was the result of not just getting Von Miller, but in getting the Broncos on the hook for his overwhelming $9 million salary-cap hit. Per Snead, the trade picks were based upon an agreed-upon sliding scale where the originating team agrees to frontload salary payments for more valuable picks.
The LA Rams simply do not have salary cap space to take on that type of contract. So the Denver Broncos allowed the Rams to buy down the salary cap hit by offering a better draft pick package. And it worked.
IDPU: Innovative draft pick usage
So what about the NFL Draft? Is it worthless? Not at all. Per Snead, the Rams try to multiply the number of picks (think of the NFL Draft like a game of Bingo) to increase the team’s chances. Snead claims (I have not verified his statement) that the LA Rams have selected the third or fourth most times over the past five years’ worth of NFL Drafts.
Granted, the team picks mainly on Day 3. But when the team lands starters like Sebastian Joseph Day and Jordan Fuller late in the draft, it must be working. The goal is always about finding NFL-caliber starters.
The LA Rams have proven that the team does value picks and plans to sustain a steady flow of incoming talent each season, coach em up, place them on the football field, and make some players very rich.
The interview ended with Les Snead indicating that this is not a one-year rental and that the LA Rams acquired Von Miller with the intention of extending him for more years to come. How will the team find the money?
LOL. Anything goes when LA Rams Les Snead puts his mind to it.