Whoa! Job done. LA Rams Von Miller to fully explore free agency

Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

There have been so many positive bits of news and information to share, that it feels almost as though I’m an unintended buzz-killer with the latest bit of news regarding the LA Rams and the Rams Free Agency outlook for 2022. It’s tough to win the NFL Championship Game. It’s twice as tough to hold a Championship roster together long enough to win a second NFL Championship Game.

One of the concerns with the team trading for so many noteworthy NFL stars on short-duration contracts was the simple fact of what can the team do when the contracts expire? The hope was that the LA Rams front office would have established a good rapport with the player and the player’s agent, and laid a solid foundation for success

Trading two draft picks for a half-season of OLB Von Miller‘s time was hoped to pave the way for a long-term relationship between the Rams and Miller. In fact, that was the initial report after acquiring Miller from the Denver Broncos.

That seemed very promising

Success changes everything

Now, it appears as though both sides did not get as close to middle ground as originally hoped for. In their post-game wrap-up, we learned that Von Miller now plans to fully explore free agency.

It’s another outside linebacker whose career skyrocketed after lining up on the same defensive front as Aaron Donald, who will now ‘test the market,’ for a new contract. Tell me if you’ve heard that one before. And following the same script, word ‘leaks’ that a valuable Rams player will test free agency. We’ll soon learn that some teams are definitely interested in signing Von Miller, quite likely the Denver Broncos among them. After that, it could result in Von Miller quickly departing to a new NFL team to start over once more.

While it would be heartbreaking to lose Von Miller’s impact on this team, his departure does not come as a complete shock. He has said repeatedly that he never wanted to leave the Denver Broncos and that he would still be there if it was up to him. Perhaps there have been some overtures from the Broncos to indicate that they have renewed interest in Von Miller’s return?

Can the Rams compensate if they lose Von Miller?

The Rams are already projected to lose a promising Ogbonnia Okoronkwo in free agency. If Von Miller also takes himself off to parts unknown, the LA Rams will be left with outside linebackers Leonard Floyd, Justin Hollins, Terrell Lewis, and Chris Garrett.

Von Miller’s market value will undoubtedly be buoyed by his resurgence in the Rams’ defense. That performance may have placed him into the $11-14 million per year tier, which could award the LA Rams as much as a fourth-round compensatory pick in the 2023 NFL Draft. Of course, if his heart is set upon returning to the Denver Broncos at a discount, the comp pick projection would have to be lowered.

The good news is that the Draft class of 2022 is loaded with talented outside linebackers. In fact, the class is deep enough to perhaps find an NFL roster rookie even after the 2022 NFL Draft concludes. Is this all a negotiation strategy? Or have the Rams and Von Miller truly found themselves at an impasse?  Stay tuned, this is a story worth monitoring.

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