The Buffalo Bills pulled off one of the biggest surprises of the offseason by signing future Hall of Fame pass rusher Von Miller to a six-year deal worth $120 million.
Buffalo landing Miller was a massive surprise. That’s because everyone — including Sean McVay — thought the eight-time Pro-Bowler was heading back to the Los Angeles Rams.
The Bills, however, found out a key piece of information early in the offseason that helped them bring Miller to Buffalo.
According to The Athletic’s Jourdan Rodrigue, the Bills, who were initially interested in signing pass rusher Chandler Jones, learned that Los Angeles wouldn’t promise Miller a third year of guaranteed money in their contract offer.
That was a dealbreaker for Miller. When the Bills found out this information, they quickly put together an offer and convinced Miller to head to the east coast.
Multiple league sources believe the Bills were initially targeting veteran pass-rusher Chandler Jones as free agency began in March — not necessarily out of a preference (the Bills had inquired about trading for Miller ahead of the 2021 season), but because everybody, including the Rams, believed Miller was returning to Los Angeles. But as the “legal tampering” period opened and the March 16 official start to free agency loomed, Jones emerged as a match for the Las Vegas Raiders.
The Bills became aware of a key contractual detail missing from the Rams’ still-unsigned offer to Miller: A third year of guaranteed money. The Rams wouldn’t — and couldn’t — do that. They had never offered a third guaranteed year to a player, and they couldn’t set a precedent for Miller instead of homegrown stars Donald and/or Kupp, both of whom had deals looming later that spring.
A move no one saw coming could be what puts the Bills over the top this season. We already know Buffalo has a dominant offense. And now with a future Hall of Famer pass rusher in Miller (who was excellent in the playoffs last season), the Bills’ defense should allow Buffalo to cruise to a third straight AFC East division title.
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