For the first time ever, Von Miller will play against the Broncos when Denver faces the Buffalo Bills on Monday Night Football.
The Broncos’ former No. 2-overall pick had a Hall-of-Fame career in Denver, racking up 110.5 sacks, 142 quarterback hits, eight Pro Bowls, seven All-Pros and a Super Bowl MVP, along with stealing the hearts of Broncos Country.
But Von’s time in Denver ended on Nov. 1, 2021 when George Paton traded him to the Los Angeles Rams for a second and third-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.
Two years after the trade, as Miller is set to face his former team for the first time, did the Broncos make the right decision to move on from Von?
The DNVR Broncos Crew breaks it down.
All odds below are courtesy of bet365.
Did the Broncos make the right decision two years ago to trade Von Miller?
Zac: Yes — Von Miller will always be an all-time great Bronco. In fact, he still refers to the Broncos as “we,” despite being on his second team since wearing Orange & Blue.
Von loves the Broncos and the Broncos love Von. That will never change.
But when Denver traded No. 58, it was the right move. In fact, my only issue with it was it didn’t happen earlier so that the Broncos could receive even more in return.
As we saw in 2015 in Denver, and again in Los Angeles in 2021, Von’s most valuable in crunch time—both at the end of games and in the playoffs. Unfortunately, after Peyton Manning retired, the Broncos weren’t in nearly as many close games and still haven’t reached the playoffs. Since 2016, Miller’s talents weren’t being fully utilized in the Mile High City.
Denver getting back a second and third-round pick was good value for an aging player and truly turned out to be a win-win-win for the Broncos, Rams and Von.
It will stink seeing Von go against the Broncos on Monday night. But in the end, it was the right move for everyone involved.
RK: Absolutely — How many times have we begged and pleaded with the Broncos to admit that they need to rebuild? Well, as I have written in this series before, you almost never see full rebuilds and fire sales in the NFL because “sellers” almost never get fair market value for the good players that they want to sell.
That was not the case for the Broncos in the Von Miller trade. Netting a second and third-round pick for an aging star was impressive return for George Paton at the time. Denver was able to use that second-round pick to acquire Nik Bonitto who has a very promsing future at the same position.
Where Denver may have gone wrong was opting to sign Randy Gregory the very next season in free agency, rather than using that money to bring back Miller, who reportedly was interested in a reunion. While Von is not having a great year in Buffalo this season, his eight sacks last season are almost three times as many as the three that Gregory tallied in his time as a Bronco.
Had Denver rented Miller to LA for two high picks, given him a chance to win a second super bowl and then brought him right back, nobody could have denied that George Paton played it perfectly.
In the end, though, the trade was still the right move at the time.
Hank: No — At the time, it was easy to see why the Broncos would trade Von Miller. He was an aging pass rusher on an expiring contract and the Broncos had a chance to move on and pick up draft picks to help the future.
Looking back now, the Broncos are obviously worse off because of their decision.
Denver turned their draft picks into Nik Bonitto and Greg Dulcich. Both players have flashed but neither has proven enough to be an NFL starter, let alone a superstar like Miller.
And superstars like Von Miller deserve to be treated better than the Broncos treated him at the end of his tenure in Denver.
Miller should have been a lifelong Bronco, instead of playing at least a third of his career in different colors. Keeping Miller probably wouldn’t have solved the Broncos problems from the past couple years, but he certainly wouldn’t have exacerbated them.
The Broncos mistreated Miller and came away with virtually nothing to show for it.
Picks Picks Picks
Josh Allen passing yards over/under 274.5
Jerry Jeudy receiving yards over/under 51.5
Courtland Sutton receiving yards over/under 45.5
Stefon Diggs receiving yards over/under 85.5
RK: Way under.
Gabriel Davis receiving yards over/under 38.5
Javonte Williams rushing yards over/under 55.5
James Cook rushing yards over/under 55.5
Josh Allen rushing yards over/under 32.5
Will Von Miller have a sack?
Broncos-Bills total points over/under 46.5
Broncos @ Bills (-7.5)
Lions (-3) @ Chargers
Jets @ Raiders (-1)