Rams’ Failure to Re-Sign Star Player Viewed as Biggest Offseason Regret

Gregory Shamus/Getty Images Von Miller left the Rams after winning Super Bowl LVI.

After winning Super Bowl LVI, the Los Angeles Rams were able to keep much of their core in place to gear up for another Super Bowl run.

Rams coach Sean McVay turned down a television gig to remain in Los Angeles. Quarterback Matthew Stafford signed a four-year extension with minimal drama during negotiations in March. Three-time Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald pushed aside retirement to sign the biggest contract for a non-quarterback in NFL history and stayed with the Rams earlier in June. Just a couple days later, Cooper Kupp signed an extension with the Rams to become one of the highest-paid receivers in the NFL.

While they were able to keep the biggest pieces of their core, the Rams did lose a couple of key players. Left tackle Andrew Whitworth retired after a 16-year career. But the biggest loss was linebacker Von Miller, who signed a six-year, $120 million deal with the Bills in March.

Bleacher Report’s Kristopher Knox views the loss of Miller as the biggest regret for the Rams this offseason.

Why Losing Miller Could Hurt the Rams

Miller was a late addition to the Rams’ 2021 Super Bowl-winning roster. The Rams traded for the longtime Denver Bronco midseason, giving up a second-round pick and a third-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.

The seven-time All-Pro ended up being a key contributor in his half-season in Los Angeles. Miller recorded five sacks in eight regular-season games with the Rams and had four sacks in the playoffs, including two in the Super Bowl win over the Bengals.

While Knox acknowledged that Miller might not be at the level of Donald, losing the 33-year-old linebacker hurt them for a couple of reasons.

“It’s hard to blame the Los Angeles Rams for not bringing back pass-rusher Von Miller,” Knox wrote. “They’ve been living on the edge of salary-cap hell and never had any real hope of matching Buffalo’s six-year, $120 million offer.

“The Rams have invested heavily in veterans like Jalen Ramsey, Matthew Stafford, Aaron Donald and most recently Cooper Kupp. They didn’t have enough money to keep the entire band together after their win in Super Bowl LVI.

“However, that doesn’t mean the Rams shouldn’t regret letting Miller slip away. They surrendered 2022 second- and third-round picks to get him last November, and they viewed him as more than a short-term rental.”

Los Angeles didn’t add anyone externally to replace Miller’s role as an edge rusher. It did sign another star linebacker, though. The Rams signed eight-time All-Pro Bobby Wagner to a five-year deal following his release from the Seahawks in March.

Miller Speaks Out on Rams Departure

Even though he spent a short time in Los Angeles, Miller grew fond of the Rams organization and was open to staying with the team that he won his second Super Bowl with.

However, Miller told reporters on Tuesday, June 14, that playing for the Bills offers him a new challenge and an opportunity to win the first Super Bowl in their franchise’s history.

“That’s why I came here,” Miller said. “I could’ve just stayed in L.A. and rode off into the sunset and rushed with Aaron Donald and piled up sacks, but I wasn’t content. I wasn’t content where I was at. I still wanted more.”

“This is a special team, they’re right on the edge and I just wanted to be that last drop to overflow these guys,” Miller added about joining the Bills.

If Miller does win a Super Bowl with the Bills, he would join extremely rare company. Only linebacker Matt Millen has won a Super Bowl with three different teams, according to ProFootballNetwork. He won two Super Bowls with the Raiders, a third with the 49ers, and a fourth with the then-Washington Redskins, though he didn’t play in their Super Bowl XXVI win.