Von Miller’s shocking trade to the Los Angeles Rams Monday might have been about more than just football. The Denver Broncos‘ decision to ship their longtime star pass rusher out west was made easier by some unusual behavior in the days leading up to the move.
Von Miller trade insight
A source with direct knowledge of the situation tells PFN that Miller became upset when teammates declined to kick in for his annual Halloween party. It’s a massive affair with a six-figure price tag. This year, it featured Quavo from the hip-hop act Migos.
Miller’s request for financial help came as a surprise to his teammates. They had assumed they were invited guests to the party, not co-hosts. Miller even wanted rookies to contribute several thousand dollars for an event that they had no role in planning.
Miller, who has earned over $90 million in his career, threatened to disrupt the Broncos’ locker room chemistry over what in his mind was an unpaid debt, the source tells PFN.
We’re also told coach Vic Fangio and general manager George Paton became aware of the rift. That may have factored into the team’s decision to move on from the eight-time Pro Bowler despite the Broncos sitting just a half-game out of the AFC’s seventh seed.
Noah Fant responds to Halloween party rumors
“Honestly, this is my first time hearing about that. And it’s kind of sad that that got out of our locker room. I feel like that should be something that stays in our locker room. I guess I’ll clarify it. It was a situation where we were planning on having this Halloween party. That was the thing. And then we had dropped a couple of games.
“Von had contacted everybody in the group chat, saying, ‘Hey, I’m thinking of canceling this party. We want to win games. We have to focus on winning games.’ That was his biggest thing, being improvement-driven. Focus on winning games and things like that. So he did try to cancel it. Guys still wanted to have it.
— Denver’s Sports Station 104.3 The Fan (@1043TheFan) November 2, 2021
“And then It kind of went south from there. I’m not going to go into details. They ended up having the party. I did not attend. But I had a conversation with Von afterward … I still paid. Just because, if I knew I wasn’t going to go, I should have spoken up and said something. I try to hold to my morals and values. To each guy his own. Each guy has different thoughts about that.
“I would say that the fact that that got out into the media, it’s kind of sad that it got out of our locker room. Especially talking to him, we all look at ourselves as a group of brothers and things like that. You’re going to fight with your brother sometimes. You’re going to get into disagreements. But it should never leave the locker room or leave the team setting. That’s all I can really attribute to that.”
Broncos general manager George Paton said Tuesday that the drama over Miller’s party was not a factor in the decision to trade him.
“We have a great locker room,” Paton said. “I think we have a lot of great guys in the locker room. I’m not aware of any rift. I’m in that locker room. I walk through it. I talk to a lot of players. I know Von had a party. I think guys had some fun, which is nice. Von likes to bring guys together. I think it really helps with the morale. I’m not aware of anything else. I do think we have a really good locker room.”
Details on the trade sending Von Miller to the Rams
The Broncos stunned the football world by not only dealing Miller to the Rams Monday, but also agreeing to pay all but $700,000 of his remaining $9.7 million base salary. In return, the Rams sent their second and third-round draft picks in 2022 to Denver.
Miller is set to become a free agent after this season. The trade suggests that the Broncos either didn’t expect to or didn’t want to bring Miller back in 2022.
It’s a shocking end to Miller’s celebrated run in Denver. The MVP of Super Bowl 50 turns 33 in March. His 110.5 sacks are the most in franchise history and the most among all active NFL players. Miller was unanimously selected to the All-Decade Team of the 2010s. He now joins a Rams squad that has gone all-in to win a Super Bowl in 2021.
“I’ve always been a team guy,” Miller told Denver7 after being informed of the trade. “I’ve always been a great teammate. I’m going to continue to do the same thing. “… I’ll always have Super Bowl 50,” Miller added. “I seen the pictures when I was walking out. It made me tear up. We’ve always got Super Bowl 50. Always got Broncos Country. Just keep going.”