Feb 13, 2022; Inglewood, CA, USA; Los Angeles Rams linebacker Von Miller (40) reacts after defeating the Cincinnati Bengals during Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Bills sign LB Von Miller, two others

The Buffalo Bills made a splash in free agency on Wednesday by signing eight-time Pro Bowl linebacker Von Miler to a six-year deal.

The NFL Network reported that Miller’s deal is worth $120 million.

Buffalo also announced the signings of tight end O.J. Howard to a one-year deal and defensive tackle DaQuan Jones to a two-year deal.

After spending the first nine years of his career with the Denver Broncos, Miller was traded to the Los Angeles Rams midway through this past season and was part of the Rams’ team that defeated the Cincinnati Bengals in the Super Bowl.

In eight regular-season games with the Rams, Miller had five sacks and eight QB hits. He nearly matched those numbers in the playoffs, tallying four sacks and seven QB hits in four games. Two of those sacks came in the Super Bowl as the Rams beat the Cincinnati Bengals, giving Miller the second championship ring of his career.

Miller, 32, ranks 22nd all-time in career sacks (115.5) and seventh all-time in tackles for losses (154). He was MVP of Super Bowl 50 when the Broncos defeated the Carolina Panthers.

Howard, 27, was on the injured reserve when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers won the Super Bowl in 2021, but he’s proven to be a playmaker at the tight end position. In 59 games — 46 of them starts — Howard has hauled in 119 catches for 1,737 yards and 15 touchdowns in his five-year career.

Jones, 30. has started 110 of 116 games played during his eight-year career. He has 273 tackles, 10 sacks and three forced fumbles with the Tennessee Titans (2014-20) and Carolina Panthers (2021).
The Bills lost in the Divisional Round of the AFC playoffs last season, 42-36, in overtime against the Kansas City Chiefs.

–Field Level Media

Sep 26, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller (58) in the fourth quarter against the New York Jets at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Von Miller Instagram hints point to Broncos return

A series of social media posts Monday has energized Denver Broncos fans with the possibility that linebacker Von Miller wants to return to his longtime team.

Miller spent his first nine-plus NFL seasons in Denver before the Broncos dealt his expiring contract to the win-now Los Angeles Rams at the 2021 trade deadline. The Broncos received the Rams’ second- and third-round picks in the 2022 NFL Draft.

Now a free agent, Miller is hinting that a return to the Broncos is in the works.

“I kinda want that old thing back.. 5280,” Miller tweeted Monday — with the number of feet in a mile, 5,280, a reference to the Mile High City.

In his Instagram story, he also posted photos of him from his Broncos days. In one caption, he asked if he should wear jersey No. 58 or 40 in blue and orange. In another, he illustrates himself wondering, “I wonder if they will give me my old locker back?”

But at the end of his Instagram story, the 32-year-old shot video of himself addressing his followers from a beach.

“I wouldn’t tease y’all like that man. First time I’ve ever been a free agent, man. I’m just sitting back on the beach, man, waiting on it,” Miller said before concluding with a shoutout to Broncos fans.

Miller joined the Rams at an auspicious time and helped them win Super Bowl LVI, recording four sacks, a forced fumble and a fumble recovery in their four playoff games. It marked Miller’s second Super Bowl ring after he led a formidable Broncos defense against the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50.

The eight-time Pro Bowler missed the 2020 season with a dislocated peroneal tendon, returned and played seven games for Denver in 2021 before the trade. In 150 career games (all starts), Miller has compiled 540 tackles, 115.5 sacks, 27 forced fumbles, nine fumble recoveries and two interceptions.

He ranks 22nd in NFL history in career sacks, a stat that has been kept since 1982.

–Field Level Media

Aug 19, 2021; Thousand Oaks, CA, USA; Los Angeles Rams offensive coordinator Kevin O'Connell looks on during a joint practice against the Las Vegas Raiders. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Rams notebook: OC Kevin O’Connell has one eye on Vikings

Kevin O’Connell will officially become coach of the Minnesota Vikings sometime following the Super Bowl, but the Los Angeles Rams’ offensive coordinator can’t yet publicly acknowledge his upcoming new gig due to NFL regulations.

That led to a tap dance around the topic that ensued when O’Connell was available to reporters on Wednesday evening.

“I’m incredibly humbled by the opportunity that is ahead of me,” O’Connell said, careful not to reveal where he will soon be employed. “I’m also trying to appreciate what I’m a part of here. It is something I’ve tried to absorb because it is something I would like to recreate.”

O’Connell, 36, said he would look to model the culture after what he has learned from Rams coach Sean McVay over the past two seasons. He also was offensive coordinator for the Washington NFL team in 2019 before joining McVay’s staff.

“He’s one of the greatest people I’ve met in this league,” O’Connell said. “He’s so caring, he’s so understanding. It is a special, special thing to have been able to coach for him.”

O’Connell was a college quarterback at San Diego State and was selected by the New England Patriots in the third round of the 2008 draft. Though he spent just 16 months with New England, the coaching bug bit him as he shared a quarterback room with Tom Brady and watched how coach Bill Belichick ran a team.

Now, he’s trying to keep his focus on the Super Bowl with the Rams but also fitting in time to put together a staff with the Vikings.

“Definitely more difficult,” O’Connell said of not being able to concentrate solely on his current team. “When you get to this point, you want to put everything into the game plan so you know when the ball gets kicked off Sunday, we’ve done everything we could.

“You also want to make sure you get off to a great start with whatever opportunity is ahead. You never feel like there is enough time or enough hours in the day.”

–Rams linebacker Von Miller was stunned when he was traded to Los Angeles by the Broncos on Nov. 1. He spent 9 1/2 seasons with Denver and was Super Bowl MVP when the Broncos beat the Carolina Panthers following the 2015 season.

He envisioned playing for one team his entire career — the Broncos.

“I was hurt. You know football is a business,” the 32-year-old veteran said. “I’ve seen it and understood it, but when it was my turn to be part of the business, it hurt and I cried. I was super-attached to my teammates in Denver and the organization. …

“When you get traded, you don’t have a whole week to say goodbye. You have 30 to 45 minutes, and it was too short.”

Now Miller is in position to earn another Super Bowl ring. And his feelings about being traded have changed in that he now views it as a good break.

“They welcomed me with open arms and it was a true blessing to become part of the Rams organization,” said Miller, who had five sacks in eight regular-season games with the Rams and has added two more in the postseason.

–The Rams are the second straight team to play the Super Bowl in their home stadium, following the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, after that scenario never occurred in the first 54 Super Bowls.

However, there surely won’t be the same number of Rams fans inside SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, Calif., as there is during a regular-season game. And Los Angeles quarterback Matthew Stafford can understand why.

“I hope our fans are out there going crazy,” Stafford said. “The Super Bowl is a different beast in terms of tickets. I’ve seen some of those prices … but I hope some of our L.A. Rams fans are there.”

–The Rams still don’t know if tight end Tyler Higbee (sprained knee) or offensive lineman Joe Noteboom (chest) will be available Sunday.

McVay said neither player participated in Wednesday’s walkthrough and that nothing has changed — good or bad — per either player’s chances of playing in the Super Bowl.

McVay said the Rams will practice at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, Calif., on Thursday due to high winds at the team’s practice site at Cal Lutheran in Thousand Oaks, Calif. The Rose Bowl is located about 45 miles east of Thousand Oaks.

–Field Level Media

Dec 13, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Rams linebacker Von Miller (40) against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Rams activate LB Von Miller from COVID list

The Los Angeles Rams activated pass rusher Von Miller from the reserve/COVID-19 list in time for Tuesday night’s visit from the Seattle Seahawks.

Fellow linebacker Christian Rozeboom was also activated from the list. The Rams also activated running back Jake Funk and linebacker Travin Howard from injured reserve and called up defensive backs Grant Haley and Damarious Randall from the practice squad.

Miller, 32, has 13 tackles and no sacks in four starts with the Rams since being acquired in a Nov. 2 trade with the Denver Broncos. The eight-time Pro Bowl selection had 4.5 sacks in seven starts with Denver before the deal.

The Rams activated star cornerback Jalen Ramsey from the COVID list on Sunday.

Sixteen players remain on the list for L.A. as the Rams (9-4) host the Seahawks (5-8) in a game that was originally scheduled for Sunday, including right tackle Rob Havenstein, tight end Tyler Higbee and safety Jordan Fuller.

–Field Level Media

Dec 13, 2021; Glendale, Arizona, USA; Los Angeles Rams linebacker Von Miller (40) against the Arizona Cardinals at State Farm Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Rams put Von Miller, eight others on COVID list

The Los Angeles Rams placed veteran linebacker Von Miller and eight other players on the reserve/COVID-19 list Thursday, increasing their total to 21 active players and four practice squad players in the health protocols.

Added to the list besides Miller were offensive linemen Tremayne Anchrum Jr. and Bobby Evans, defensive backs Antoine Brooks Jr., Jake Gervase and Kareem Orr and linebackers Ogo Okoronkwo, Troy Reeder and Christian Rozeboom.

Miller, an 11-year veteran, is an eight-time Pro Bowl selection and a three-time All-Pro.

The Rams (9-4), who are in second place in the NFC West, are one of seven NFL teams in the enhanced COVID-19 mitigation protocols. Los Angeles’ next game is Sunday at home against the Seattle Seahawks.

–Field Level Media

Aug 28, 2021; Denver, Colorado, USA; Denver Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller (58) shakes hands with Los Angeles Rams tight end Kendall Blanton (86) before the coin toss at Empower Field at Mile High. Mandatory Credit: C. Morgan Engel-USA TODAY Sports

Reports: Rams land pass rusher Von Miller in trade with Broncos

Von Miller was traded from the Denver Broncos to the Los Angeles Rams in a blockbuster deal agreed to on the eve of the NFL trade deadline, according to multiple reports.

Miller, inactive for Sunday’s game against the Washington Football Team, can become a free agent at the end of the 2021 season after eight years with the Broncos.

ESPN reported the Rams part with second- and third-round picks in the 2022 NFL Draft but will pay only $700,000 of Miller’s remaining $9.7 million salary. The Broncos will pay the balance, per the report.

Miller missed the entire 2020 season with an ankle injury and has been sidelined by an ankle injury for almost two weeks. His physical exam, required before trades are approved, could be critical to the deal becoming official before Tuesday’s 4 p.m. ET deadline.

Miller, 32, has 4.5 sacks in seven games this season and 110.5 sacks in his career. The prospect of blocking Miller and All-Pro defensive tackle Aaron Donald, who has 5.0 sacks this season and 90.5 in his career, would be daunting for most teams.

Four of Miller’s sacks this season were recorded in September and he has gone three consecutive games without one.

Rams general manager Les Snead has a reputation for punting draft capital and chasing big names via trade. Among the many deals Snead has triggered, he parted with first-round draft picks for current quarterback Matthew Stafford (Detroit Lions) and cornerback Jalen Ramsey (Jacksonville Jaguars).

Snead also acquired running back Sony Michel from the New England Patriots prior to the start of the regular season after starter Cam Akers was injured before training camp.

In previous years, he used draft picks to land wide receiver Brandin Cooks, cornerback Marcus Peters and cornerback Aqib Talib.

Miller did not practice last week. He last played Oct. 21 at Cleveland.

The Rams are 7-1 and tied with the Arizona Cardinals for first place in the NFC West entering Week 9, when Los Angeles welcomes the Tennessee Titans.

Denver picked up a $7 million team option on Miller’s contract in March 2021 that triggered the final year of a six-year, $114 million deal signed in 2016, when the Broncos used the franchise tag to retain him.

Miller was the No. 2 overall pick out of Texas A&M in 2011.

–Field Level Media

Sep 26, 2021; Inglewood, California, USA;  Los Angeles Rams inside linebacker Kenny Young (41) reacts after a sack of Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady (12) in the third quarter of the game at SoFi Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports

Broncos acquire LB Kenny Young from Rams

The Denver Broncos addressed their linebacker shortage Monday by acquiring Kenny Young from the Los Angeles Rams.

The Broncos also will receive a seventh-round pick from the 2024 NFL Draft in the deal. The Rams will receive a sixth-round selection in that same draft.

Eight-time Pro Bowl selection Von Miller became the latest Denver linebacker to sustain an injury. Miller injured his ankle during Thursday’s 17-14 loss to the Cleveland Browns, becoming the eighth injured linebacker for the Broncos — with six of them on injured reserve.

Young, 26, has recorded 46 tackles, one forced fumble and one fumble recovery in seven games (all starts) this season. The UCLA product is in the final season of his original four-year deal after he was drafted by the Baltimore Ravens in 2018 and becomes an unrestricted free agent in 2022.

Young has 166 tackles, three forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries in 53 career games (19 starts) with the Rams and the Baltimore Ravens (2018-19). Los Angeles is expected to find more playing time for rookie linebacker Ernest Jones, a third-round draft pick out of South Carolina.

–Field Level Media

Oct 10, 2021; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA;  Denver Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller (58) looks on from the sidelines against the Pittsburgh Steelers during the second quarter at Heinz Field. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Broncos LB Von Miller leaves game with ankle injury

Denver linebacker Von Miller exited the Broncos’ Thursday night game against the Cleveland Browns due to a left ankle injury.

Miller was hurt when he collided with teammate Dre’Mont Jones while pass-rushing late in the second quarter. He was attended to on the field and then walked gingerly to the sideline.

The Broncos initially termed him questionable to return before ruling him out late in the third quarter.

Miller, 32, had two tackles before leaving. He has 19 stops and a team-best 4.5 sacks this season.

Miller, an eight-time Pro Bowler, holds the franchise record of 110.5 sacks. He also was MVP of Super Bowl 50 when the Broncos beat the Carolina Panthers.

–Field Level Media