THOUSAND OAKS, Calif. -- Los Angeles Rams general manager Les Snead said Tuesday the decision to acquire All-Pro outside linebacker Von Miller was made with the team's immediate and long-term future in mind.
Snead stopped short, however, of saying that Miller's acquisition signaled that the Rams are all-in to win a Super Bowl and instead emphasized that they're trying to build a roster that can win many games.
"We're actually looking at this from a standpoint of how soon can he help us, can he help us if we're fortunate enough to continue going and make the 2021 tournament, how can he help us there," Snead said. "And then there's a long-term vision for Von as well."
A day before Tuesday's NFL trade deadline, the Rams acquired Miller from the Denver Broncos in exchange for a second- and third-round pick in the 2022 draft. The Broncos will pay $9 million of the $9.7 million Miller is owed for the remainder of the season, after which the 32-year-old is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent.
Broncos general manager George Paton said the trade "made sense for both sides," adding that Denver wanted to do right by Miller by sending him to a team "right in the thick of it."
"This was not easy," Paton said. "This guy's an icon. He can still rush the passer. ... It's a win-win -- you have to make the best decision for your franchise moving forward and we just felt this was at this time."
The Rams are 7-1, on pace to easily qualify for the playoffs and have built a roster that has Super Bowl expectations behind quarterback Matthew Stafford, who has ignited the offense after he was acquired in a blockbuster offseason trade.
Miller will star on a defense that is steadily improving under first-year coordinator Raheem Morris and one that leads the NFL with 25 sacks and already includes three-time NFL Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald, All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey and outside linebacker Leonard Floyd, a former first-round pick who has 6.5 sacks this season.
"Outside linebacker, very important in our defense especially someone who is or has a pedigree of affecting the passer like he has," Snead said about Miller, who is the league's active career sack leader with 110.5. "We did feel like that adding Von to that front seven mix would be a player that would stress the protection, stress the opponent, the one-on-one matchup."
Snead said the opportunity to acquire Miller first arose last week, shortly after the Rams engaged with Paton in a trade that sent linebacker Kenny Young and a 2024 sixth-round pick to Denver.
"George reached out at the end of the week and we just couldn't take on, based on what we've done in the past with our cap situation, just can't take on Von Miller, so that's when we discussed what it would take from each side, the variables that really could change, I don't want to say non-negotiables, but they were almost facts," Snead said. "I think as they were analyzing their situation, we were analyzing ours and we came up with what we felt like was something that was good for the Rams and the Broncos."
Snead said the Rams were willing and have discussed with Miller's representatives the possibility of a long-term contract.
As for the cost to acquire Miller on an expiring contract, Snead said despite the appearance that the Rams have few draft picks in 2022 (they own a third-round compensatory pick, a fifth-round pick and two seventh-round selections) that the team has factored in anticipated compensatory selections.
"We like to think we use our picks innovatively, maybe creatively," Snead said. "We're projected to get four more picks, four more compensatory picks based on the players that signed elsewhere last year, so we should have around eight total picks and we knew that."
ESPN's Jeff Legwold contributed to this report.