BRONCOS

It was painful news to hear, but trading Von Miller was a smart move

Nov 1, 2021, 10:54 AM

When the news broke, it was a bit of a gut punch. It’s been talked about for weeks. There’s been speculation. But actually seeing it in writing was a little hard to digest.

The greatest defensive player in the history of the franchise will no longer wear the orange and blue. The MVP of Super Bowl 50 isn’t a Bronco any more.

It’s weird. It stinks. It’s kind of painful.

But it was the right thing to do. In terms of football, it was a smart, savvy move by George Paton.

The Broncos aren’t going anywhere this year. Even though they’re 4-4, it’s clear that they aren’t a contender.

So it makes sense to trade away veterans for draft picks. Getting something in return for players who are likely to leave after the season is a good business decision.

The Broncos received a second- and a third-round pick in the 2022 draft from the Rams. That’s a pretty good haul. Those are two “premium” selections, meaning they should be starters in year one.

It would’ve been foolish for Paton not to make the trade. The general manager had no choice.

Miller is in the final year of his deal. He’ll turn 33 years old in March. He wasn’t going to return to the Broncos in 2022 and beyond.

Players at that age won’t to go to a contender. They don’t want to be a part of the rebuilding process. The Broncos are headed toward their sixth-straight season without making the playoffs. They might post their fifth-consecutive losing season. Why would Miller want to continue to be a part of that mess?

It wouldn’t have made any sense for the Broncos to re-sign him even if he wanted to stay. The money could be spent better in other places. They need to get young players on the field.

In almost every way, the trade is a good one. Paton deserves credit for pulling it off.

That doesn’t mean it doesn’t sting a little bit, however. It feels like an unceremonious way for the Broncos all-time leader in sacks (110.5) to end his career in Denver. Traded away in the middle of the season for a couple of draft picks.

But that’s the reality of the NFL. Good teams don’t make decisions based on sentimentality. They don’t keep players on the roster for what they used to be or what they did in the past.

The Broncos need to think about the future. Unfortunately, Von Miller isn’t a part of it.

Everyone knew that was the case. Now, it’s just official.

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It was painful news to hear, but trading Von Miller was a smart move