The Broncos are rebuilding. John Elway sounds like he’s willing to trade Von Miller. It doesn’t appear as if Von Miller’s mom is happy. With no franchise QB in Denver, and a below-average roster, is it time to trade the Super Bowl MVP and move on? John Elway has been struggling as a GM – outside of Peyton Manning falling into his lap, of course – and here are three potential trades for Miller that he could make to try to make a big move:
Denver sends Von Miller and 2019 and 2020 1st round picks to Philadelphia for Carson Wentz.
John Elway can stop swinging and missing in the draft and free agency seeking a QB. Carson Wentz was headed toward an MVP in 2017 before a knee injury. His injury history will concern Broncos fans, but what’s the alternative? The Eagles have two defensive ends who are free agents in 2019 (Graham, Long) and a lot of other defensive contributors who could hit the market. The idea of Fletcher Cox and Von Miller on the same defensive line is terrifying. They get a Super Bowl MVP who still has prime years left, the #10 pick in this year’s draft, and of course a 2020 1st (guessing it’ll be between 15-25). There is an out in Miller’s contract after 2019, which would free up salary cap money to keep a Top 5 roster flush with talent. Or they restructure. Also, you wonder if trading Wentz would enable them to roll with Foles – maybe at a discount. There would be no discount for Wentz.
Denver sends Von Miller to Indianapolis for Two 2nd round picks and a 4th round pick in 2019.
The Colts are sitting pretty with a ton of salary cap room and nine 2019 draft picks (including six in the Top 140). Indy has the 8th youngest roster in the NFL, and doesn’t have room for all these draft picks. There will surely be a push to keep all the picks, as GM Chris Ballard hit a grand slam in the 2018 draft. There’s obviously a need at WR (but remember, 6th round pick Deon Cain from Clemson tore his ACL in the preseason), and also at CB, but you still have your 1st round pick. The Broncos are talent-deficient, but they aren’t getting a #1 pick for Miller (turns 30 in March) the way the Raiders got two for Khalil Mack, who was 27 last season. The Colts defensive front is solid, and very good against the run, but there isn’t a pass rusher you have to scheme against or even worry about.
Denver sends Von Miller, their 1st round pick (#10) and a 4th round pick to the Jets for their 2019 1st round pick (#3) and 3rd round pick.
This is strategic in that if John Elway loves a QB in this draft – say, Dwayne Haskins of Ohio State – he’ll have to move ahead of the QB-needy teams (Oakland? Tampa, NY Giants, etc) to get one. There will be push back that it’s overpaying for a young QB – the Raiders got way more for Khalil Mack! (See Rams for Jared Goff, Eagles for Wentz, Jets for Sam Darnold.) The Raiders traded Mack at 27 and didn’t have to pay him. Miller has a hefty contract and he’s 30 in March. Denver gets its QB, and salary cap room to bolster a below-average roster. The Jets become attractive because of their place in the draft, and also because they have the 2nd most cap room in the NFL and could use a pass rusher. My mock draft has the Jets going defensive tackle at #3, but if they slid down to 10, they might be able to get an offensive lineman who can start. Adding Miller gives the Jets a legit pass rush: Henry Anderson (7 sacks), Leonard Williams and Jordan Jenkins (7 sacks), which would in turn help their secondary, which has struggled. Surely Jets fans will be upset they don’t have a 2nd or 3rd round pick – but that’s where trading for Blake Bortles and getting a 2nd round pick in return for cap space – makes a ton of sense. (It’s the same deal that the Browns did for Brock Osweiler that netted them Nick Chubb.)